Bollywood Star to Face New Trial in 2002 Case

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) -- Indian movie star Salman Khan will face a fresh trial on a homicide charge for a fatal road accident more than 11 years ago.

Police said that Khan drove his car into a group of people sleeping on a Mumbai sidewalk in September 2002, killing one and injuring four.

The actor was on trial for a lesser offense of causing death by negligence, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison. However, after a magistrate in Mumbai heard the evidence, he invoked the more serious charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the actor in February.

Khan could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of culpable homicide. He also faces charges of negligent driving and causing grievous hurt to the victims.

Khan has pleaded not guilty to the charges and sought a fresh trial, which Judge D. W. Deshpande granted Thursday. The judge said that all the witnesses would be re-examined.

The pre-trial is set for Dec. 23.

"These are far more serious charges, so there should be a fair opportunity (for Khan) to defend himself," his lawyer, Shrikant Shivade, said.

Khan, one of Bollywood's most popular stars, has acted in about 90 Hindi-language films in his 25-year career.

Indian courts are notorious for delays and a trial can take years to complete.


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