GORNO-ALTAISK, March 6 (RAPSI) – A magistrate court in the Altai Republic in southwest Siberia has found Serzhan Svatov, former imam of the Kosh-Agach Region, guilty of creating a cell of the Tablighi Jamaat extremist movement, a law enforcement source told RIA Novosti.

Svatov, who was dismissed from his position as imam in early 2014, was charged with promoting Tablighi canons and ideology over a period of years.

Tablighi Jamaat (Proselytizing Group) has been banned in Russia as an extremist organization. Svatov was charged under an article on operating a public or religious organization that has been banned by the court on grounds of extremism.

“Serzhan Svatov was found guilty, fined 100,000 rubles ($2,770) and prohibited from holding a religious position for two years,” the source said.

The Prosecutor General's Office reported in July 2013 that extremism cases were on the rise. First Deputy Aleksandr Buksman of the Prosecutor General's Office said that the number of registered crimes connected with extremism increased by 11% in 2012, and by 20% in the first six months of 2013.