Bollywood star Salman Khan facing prison after poaching conviction

Khan denied shooting two blackbuck deer 20 years ago.

Bollywood star Salman Khan has been found guilty of poaching rare deer in a wildlife preserve two decades ago, and could face up to six years in prison.

The prolific actor contends he did not shoot the two blackbuck deer in the western India preserve in 1998 and was earlier acquitted in related cases.

He was in court for the ruling in the western city of Jodhpur, and can appeal against the conviction in a higher court.

Salman Khan denied poaching blackbuck deer (Gurinder Osan/AP)
Salman Khan denied poaching blackbuck deer (Gurinder Osan/AP)

Four other stars also accused in the case – Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam – were acquitted. They were in the vehicle that Salman Khan was believed to be driving during the hunt. Tabu and Neelam both use just one name.

Chief judicial magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri was hearing arguments from lawyers on Thursday to decide the sentence for Khan.

He had previously been sentenced to jail terms of one and five years in related cases before being acquitted by appeals courts due to lack of evidence.

The blackbuck is an endangered species protected under the Indian Wildlife Act.

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