Tuesday, September 28

Bollywood Star Salman Khan released on bail

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Bollywood star Salman Khan, sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for illegally killing protected animals 20 years ago, was released on bail on Saturday.

Hundreds of fans followed Salman Khan to Jodhpur airport, where a private jet was waiting for him on April 7th.

The 52-year-old actor, one of the best-paid in the world, drove to Jodhpur Prison (Rajasthan), where he spent two days after being sentenced Thursday.

Hundreds of fans were waiting for him as they came out and tried to clutch alongside his SUV, followed by dozens of motorcycles to Jodhpur airport where a private jet was waiting for him.

In front of his luxurious home in Bombay, a crowd of fans celebrated his release by dancing to songs from his films.

One of his lawyers, Mahesh Bora, told the press that a bond equivalent to about 1200 Canadian dollars had been demanded the release of the actor, who had been imprisoned as soon as his conviction by a court of Rajasthan.

His lawyers immediately announced that they would appeal, suspending the execution of the sentence and allowing parole.

Salman Khan, who had pleaded not guilty in this trial, had already had trouble with his country.

In 2015, he had obtained on appeal a resounding acquittal in the death of a homeless man in 2002 in Bombay, whom he was accused of crushing with his car before fleeing. A procedure to challenge this decision is currently under consideration in the Supreme Court.

He was also prosecuted for illegally killing protected gazelles, but was released on appeal.

Despite his legal setbacks, his popularity remains huge in his country and his latest film Tiger Zinda Hai ( The Tiger is alive ) has garnered some $85 million worldwide.