Eight Russians convicted of attacking police at anti-Putin protest
Published on Feb 22, 2014 1:58 AM
MOSCOW (REUTERS) - A Russian judge on Friday convicted eight defendants of rioting and assaulting police at a protest against Vladimir Putin, in what one of his leading critics called a "show trial" designed to make clear the president would tolerate no dissent.
In a show of force outside the courthouse, police pushed into a crowd of hundreds that had gathered to support the defendants, grabbing people one by one and hauling them away.
Moscow police said they detained about 200 people for attempting to violate public order.
The convictions, which activists had anticipated, coincided with political turmoil in neighbouring Ukraine, where dozens have died in violence the Kremlin blames on militant government opponents it accuses the West of encouraging.
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