Russia jails blogger for anti-Putin rally

MOSCOW Tue Dec 6, 2011 11:19am EST

MOSCOW Dec 6 (Reuters) - A Russian court sentenced prominent anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny to 15 days in jail on Tuesday for his role in a protest against Vladimir Putin's rule.

Navalny was charged with obstructing the course of justice at Monday's rally, one of the biggest in the capital in years.

It drew thousands of people opposing Prime Minister Putin, whose United Russia suffered a setback in a parliamentary election on Sunday which the opposition said was rigged in the ruling party's favour.

One of the protest's organisers, Ilya Yashin, was also sentenced to 15 days in jail earlier on Tuesday in what he said was a politically-motivated decision to intimidate him. He was one of about 300 protesters were detained at Monday's rally.

"There is not a single doubt that my case is under the special control of the party of crooks and thieves," Navalny told reporters in a courtroom ahead of being charged, referring to the term he uses to describe Putin's United Russia party.

Navalny received his sentence as hundreds of opposition protesters staged another rally in central Moscow.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, writing by Amie Ferris-Rotman, editing by Timothy Heritage)