Superstar Bollywood actor, Salma Khan has been sentenced to five years in prison for illegal poaching.
Khan was found guilty of killing two blackbucks, a type of antelope found in the country, while working on a film in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan in 1998.
Prosecutors allege that Khan shot the animals while out driving with some of his co-stars. In addition to his prison sentence, he was also fined 10,000 Indian rupees.
The decades-old case came to a close today as the 52-year-old popular actor was sentenced. For years, Khan has maintained his innocence in the case and pleaded not guilty. His lawyers said he was carrying an air gun, which couldn’t have been used for hunting.
After he was sentenced, Bhawani Singh, a public prosecutor working on the case, told reporters outside the court that Khan can appeal the decision to a higher court. If Khan’s appeal is accepted, he could be granted bail or have his sentence suspended.
The other actors involved in the case, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam Kothari, were charged with abetting a crime but were acquitted Thursday, Singh said.
Khan has had several brushes with the law, including in 2015 when he was found guilty in a deadly hit and run accident and received a five-year prison sentence. A higher court later tossed the conviction, claiming the evidence presented was not sufficient.