Kasparov Jailed for 5 Days
By MANSUR MIROVALEV – 2 hours ago

MOSCOW (AP) — Former chess champion Garry Kasparov was convicted of leading an opposition protest and sentenced to five days in jail by a Moscow court Saturday.

Kasparov and dozens of other demonstrators were detained hours earlier after riot police clashed with Kremlin opponents following a protest rally that drew several thousand people.

The former chess champion was forced to the ground and beaten, his assistant Marina Litvinovich said in a telephone interview from outside the police station where Kasparov was held.

“What you’ve heard is all lies,” Kasparov said after the sentence was read. “The testimony is contradictory. There was not a single word of truth.”

Two riot police testified in court that they had been given direct orders before the rally to arrest Kasparov, one of President Vladimir Putin’s harshest critics. One of the policemen acknowledged that the two reports he had filed were contradictory.

Kasparov was charged with organizing an unsanctioned procession “of at least 1,500 people directed against President Vladimir Putin,” of chanting anti-government slogans and of resisting arrest.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

MOSCOW (AP) — Riot police beat and detained opposition leader Garry Kasparov Saturday as they took dozens of protesters into custody at a rally against President Vladimir Putin, his assistant said.

The former chess champion was forced to the ground and beaten, his assistant Marina Litvinovich said in a telephone interview from outside the police station where Kasparov was held.

He was later taken to a city court, where he was charged with organizing an unsanctioned protest and resisting arrest. The court proceedings were continuing Saturday evening and it was unclear whether Kasparov would be released.

“What we see today is the implementation of Putin’s plan,” Kasparov told journalists in the courtroom. “Putin’s plan” is what the dominant pro-Kremlin party is calling its platform in the current parliamentary campaign.

Police also detained Eduard Limonov, leader of the National Bolshevik Party, who has been Kasparov’s closest partner in a broad opposition coalition.

Kasparov, one of Putin’s harshest critics, and other opposition politicians have come under growing pressure before Dec. 2 parliamentary elections.

Here is the full AP story.

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