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Central & South Asia

Bollywood star faces homicide trial

Indian actor Salman Khan might be sent to prison for hit-and-run incident which killed a homeless man in Mumbai in 2002.
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2013 10:53
Bollywood actor Salman Khan (left) has had several run-ins with the law but has remained free [AFP]

Bollywood star Salman Khan could face up to 10 years in jail after an Indian court decided it will try him for homicide following a fatal road accident more than a decade ago.

Khan initially faced negligence charges, which carries a lighter sentence of two years, but government prosecutors successfully asked the court to upgrade the case to homicide.

One man was killed and another three were injured when the actor allegedly rammed his car into a group of homeless people sleeping on a sidewalk in Mumbai in September 2002.

A police bodyguard who was with Khan said the actor was the driver of the Land Cruiser, when the accident happened.

Khan's lawyer Deepesh Mehta, however, told The Times of India that they will challenge the decision in the high court, saying there is no change in circumstances and "the evidence is still not complete".

Khan had starred in several blockbuster Bollywood films and is a popular product endorser.

But he has also faced several controversies for his run-ins with the law. In 1998, he was found guilty for poaching a rare buck in a desert wildlife preserve. He managed to remain free even as the conviction carried five years jail time.

Khan also faced several separate charges of illegal possession of weapons stemming from the incident, when he and several other people allegedly drove into the Thar desert to shoot deer while on a break from filming.

Khan's homicide trial is set to begin on March 11. Indian courts are notorious for delays and a trial can take years to complete.

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