(QHA) -

A Russian judge on Friday convicted eight defendants of assaulting police during a protest against Vladimir Putin, in what activists called a "show trial" designed to make clear the president would tolerate no dissent, Reuters reports.

Sentencing was postponed until Monday, meaning it will be revealed after Sunday's close of the Sochi Winter Olympics, a prestige project for Putin, who has faced criticism from the West for his treatment of dissenters but says he does not use the courts as a political tool.

The eight were convicted of rioting and assaulting police during an opposition protest on May 6, 2012, the eve of Putin's inauguration to a third term as president.

QHA