(Reuters) - A Russian court gave Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny a suspended sentence of three and a half years on Tuesday and jailed his brother.

Alexei Navalny led mass protests against President Vladimir Putin three years ago, and his trial is seen as part of a campaign to stifle dissent. His brother Oleg was given three and a half years in jail.

The Navalny brothers were accused of stealing 30 million rubles from two firms, including an affiliate of the French cosmetics company Yves Rocher, between 2008 and 2012.

The Kremlin denies allegations that it uses the courts to persecute opponents.