India

Salman Khan: Bollywood star denies driving 'hit-and-run' car

Salman Khan Image copyright AFP
Image caption Salman Khan is one of Bollywood's biggest stars

Bollywood star Salman Khan has told an Indian court that he was not driving on the night he is accused of running over five men sleeping on a pavement, killing one of them.

The actor was charged with culpable homicide by the Mumbai court for the September 2002 hit-and-run incident.

Khan said his driver Altaf was driving the car when the crash occurred.

The actor is one of Bollywood's biggest stars and has starred in more than 80 Hindi-language films.

Several of his films, including Dabangg, Ready, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aap Ke Hain Kaun, have been huge commercial hits.

The actor has always denied the charge against him.

If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison.

Late on the night of 28 September 2002, Khan's Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into the American Express bakery in the Bandra area of Mumbai, authorities say.

The vehicle ran over five people sleeping on the streets, killing 38-year-old Noor Ullah Khan and seriously injuring three others. Another person received minor injuries.

The prosecution has alleged that Khan was driving the car and that he was drunk.

On Friday, the actor told the court he was not drunk and was not driving the car either.

He said he got out of the vehicle from the driver's side because the door on the passenger side was jammed.

Khan is a hugely popular and successful actor, but he has often been described as a "bad boy" heart-throb.

In 2006, he was sentenced to five years in prison for hunting a protected deer, but was released on bail after spending less than a week in jail.

An appeal in that case is being heard in a higher court.

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