Bollywood star Salman Khan convicted in homicide, gets 5-year sentence

Bollywood star Salman Khan found guilty of culpable homicide in hit-and-run death of homeless man in Mumbai

In a case that has stretched out for nearly 13 years, Bollywood star Salman Khan was found guilty Wednesday of culpable homicide in the death of a homeless man in Mumbai.

Two hours after the conviction, Khan, 49, was sentenced to five years behind bars and taken to jail directly from the courtroom, according to IBN Live. He was released late in the afternoon on two days' interim bail.

The actor, who was determined by the court to have been driving drunk, was also found guilty of negligent driving and causing grievous harm in the accident that killed a 38-year-old man and injured four others, three of them severely, who'd been sleeping on a street in a Mumbai suburb, the BBC reported.

Khan's lawyers had argued unsuccessfully that he hadn't been drinking and wasn't behind the wheel.

The star of more than 80 Bollywood films went from a calm demeanor to upset when he heard his sentence, the BBC said. He's expected to appeal.

The actor was arrested in October 2002 after the late-September hit-and-run, in which his Toyota Land Cruiser crashed into a bakery, the BBC reported.

The culpable homicide charge -- which had previously been dropped to causing death by negligence -- was reinstated in July 2013 after two years of arguments, and a fresh trial was ordered that December. A legal expert told IBN Live on Wednesday that a system with too few judges was to blame for the decade-plus delay between crime and punishment.

The son of the man who died told the Hindustan Times that Khan's sentence would not help his family. "My father died a long time ago. If Khan is punished, his family will suffer. He should be set free. But I would like to get the compensation that the court ordered the actor to pay, which we did not get," Feroz Sarif said. He said the judge had ordered Khan to pay his family 1 million rupees, or about $15,700, which he had yet to receive.

A relative of one of the injured men agreed that compensation was the important part to his family. A lawyer for Khan told the judge Wednesday that the actor had already paid the victims 1.9 milllion rupees, or close to $30,000, the Hindu reported.

Khan, the star of a number of Indian blockbusters, has 24.7 million Facebook fans and 11.7 million Twitter followers and a bad-boy reputation that in recent years he's been working to shed, the BBC said.

He was No. 98 this year on the Asian Awards' list of the world's 100 most influential people of Asian descent. The organization noted that during his career, Khan had appeared in India's highest-grossing film of the year nine times, and had been involved with various charities, including his own Being Human foundation to help the underprivileged.

Other big names on this year's list include Mindy Kaling, Nicki Minaj, Norah Jones, Deepak Chopra, Ben Kingsley, Jackie Chan, Tiger Woods, Manny Pacquiao, Jet Li and Ang Lee.

Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs.

 

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