MOSCOW, March 27 A court on Monday sentenced
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 15 days in prison,
saying he had disobeyed a police officer during an
anti-government protest in Moscow the previous day.
The same court fined Navalny 20,000 roubles ($352.20)
earlier on Monday for his role in organising the protest, which
the authorities said was illegal.
Police detained hundreds of protesters across Russia on
Sunday, including Navalny, after thousands took to the streets
to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation of
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Olga Mikhailova, Navalny's lawyer, told Reuters she had
expected such a verdict and would appeal it.
A Reuters reporter saw Navalny being loaded into a van,
which was quickly surrounded by supporters holding placards
reading" "We believe" and "Alexei, we are with you."
The Kremlin on Monday rejected calls by the United States
and the European Union to release detained opposition
protesters, accusing organisers of paying teenagers to attend.
(Reporting by Svetlana Reiter; Writing by Andrew Osborn;
Editing by Polina Devitt)