World's 9th-Highest-Paid Actor Sentenced to Prison

Salman Khan gets 5 years in 1998 poaching case
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2018 8:32 AM CDT
World's 9th-Highest-Paid Actor Is Headed to Jail
Bollywood star Salman Khan, second left, arrives at court in Jodhpur, Rajasthan state, India, on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Sunil Verma)

Salman Khan's life might get significantly less glamorous. The world's ninth-highest-paid actor, who has appeared in more than 100 Bollywood films, was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday in India after being found guilty of poaching, though his lawyers intend to appeal and a bail hearing is slated for tomorrow. Khan was initially convicted of killing two blackbucks, a protected species of antelope, in 2006, some eight years after prosecutors said he shot the animals from a car while in Jodhpur to film 1998's Hum Saath Saath Hain, reports the Guardian. The car's registration number was reportedly seen by a member of the Bishnoi tribe, which views the antelope as sacred. But Khan's conviction was later suspended, per the BBC. He was then acquitted before charges were laid again.

Khan was taken to jail following Thursday's verdict; four other actors in the car were acquitted for lack of evidence. The prosecution "engaged in tampering and fabricating evidence and documents as well as roping in fake witnesses to prove its case," Khan's lawyer, HM Saraswat, tells Gulf News. "It even failed to prove that the black bucks were killed by gunshots." His lawyers said Khan had only an air gun that couldn't have taken down an antelope, per CNN; Khan has suggested the animals died from overeating. Khan has other legal troubles to worry about: His 2015 acquittal in the 2002 hit-and-run death of a homeless man is being challenged in the Supreme Court, per the Guardian. (In another hunting-related story, officials are testing human excrement, hoping it belongs to a tycoon.)

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