Bollywood icon Salman Khan acquitted of weapons charges

Bollywood icon Salman Khan acquitted of weapons charges


Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was acquitted Wednesday of illegal possession of weapons, another victory for an Indian movie icon who has been beset by legal problems.

Khan was found not guilty in an incident from 1998, when he was accused of poaching two rare blackbucks, a type of antelope, in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. He was accused of carrying a revolver and rifle whose licenses had expired.

Khan, 51, was present in court in the city of Jodhpur when the verdict was announced Wednesday. His lawyer told reporters that the prosecution had “failed to provide conclusive evidence.”

“The court admitted our arguments that Khan was framed in this case, as he had no concrete evidence against him,” said his lawyer, H.M. Saraswat, who had argued that forest department officials had planted evidence against the actor.

Khan has long been a major figure in India’s vibrant film industry. He has appeared in scores of movies — many of them Bollywood’s top-grossing films — and has amassed a worldwide following, particularly among the Indian diaspora. His legal travails have been covered closely by the media, and loyal fans have cheered every acquittal.

Khan faced up to seven years in prison if convicted of the firearms charges. Prosecutors said they would appeal the verdict.

Prosecutors have alleged that Khan, while on a film shoot, took his co-stars hunting in September 1998 and killed two blackbucks and a gazelle. The incident triggered three poaching cases against the actor.

He was convicted in two of the poaching cases and sentenced by a lower court to six years in prison. But he served only six days after his lawyers appealed, and a higher court overturned the verdicts, ruling there was insufficient evidence to conclude the pellets that killed the animals came from his weapons.

The third poaching case is in its final stages.

Hunting animals is illegal in India, although Indians can carry weapons for self-defense, provided they have licenses.

After Wednesday’s verdict, Khan tweeted, “Thank you for all the support and good wishes.”

In 2015, a court overturned Khan’s conviction in a hit-and-run driving case in which he was accused of running over and killing a homeless man who was sleeping on the sidewalk.

Despite his brushes with the law, Khan remains one of India’s most bankable stars, a former romantic lead who has swelled into a muscled action hero with an army of rabid fans. His 2016 film “Sultan,” the love story of a wrestler, was the highest-grossing Bollywood film of the year, earning more than $85 million worldwide.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
CIA head Pompeo held secret talks with Syrian intel in attempt to release US captive – report

CIA head Pompeo held secret talks with Syrian intel in attempt to release US captive – report..

24-Jun, 06:07

CIA director Mike Pompeo reportedly held low-key talks with Syria’s...

Love Island: Amber Davies SLAMS Megan McKenna's lips as she claims the TOWIE star has taken her surgery 'too far'

Love Island: Amber Davies SLAMS Megan McKenna's lips as she claims the TOWIE star has taken..

24-Jun, 07:43

Despite admitting that she "looks up" to Megan McKenna, it hasn't stopped...

How pheromones trigger female sexual behavior

How pheromones trigger female sexual behavior..

24-Jun, 11:42

A study by a group of Japanese scientists showed how a male pheromone in...

Hong Kong police arrest 21 Uber drivers in latest crackdown

Hong Kong police arrest 21 Uber drivers in latest crackdown..

23-May, 02:57

Hong Kong police have launched a fresh crackdown on Uber, arresting 21...

Attack on rhinoceros in Paris puts zoo security in spotlight

Attack on rhinoceros in Paris puts zoo security in spotlight..

10-Mar, 15:48

The brazen killing of a rhinoceros at a wildlife park near Paris by...

China police arrest mine manager in explosion death cover-up

China police arrest mine manager in explosion death cover-up..

18-Feb, 01:36

Police in central China's Hunan province have arrested a coal mine...

5 things analysts and investors want to hear in Trump speech

5 things analysts and investors want to hear in Trump speech..

28-Feb, 03:06

Economists and investors will be looking for one thing above all from...