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Salman records statement in blackbuck poaching case, pleads innocence

JODHPUR, Jan 27: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan today pleaded innocence in the 18-year-old blackbuck poaching case, claiming before a court here that he has been “framed”.
51-year-old Salman pleaded not guilty when his statement was recorded by Chief Judicial Magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit, during when he was asked 65 questions.
Salman told the court the he never went for poaching due to security reasons during the shooting of his film.
The actor said he would provide evidence to back his innocence on the next date of hearing. The court listed February 15 as the next date.
Salman appeared in the court along with Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu, the other accused co-stars in the case at 11.30 AM.
“Salman was asked 65 questions by the magistrate pertaining to allegations of poaching against him but he denied all the allegations and pleaded innocence” his counsel H M Sarswat said.
“Khan has not committed any crime. After the film shooting, he used to remain in the hotel. He has been framed in the case and we would produce the evidence in favour of his innocence on the next date,” the counsel added.
The other co-accused restricted their answers to “yes” and “no” while pleading innocence but refused to produce any evidence to back their defence when asked by the court.
He was in the court for close to one hour and left immediately after his statement was recorded. The other stars remained in the court for two-and-a-half hours.
The magistrate first recorded the statement of a local co-accused Dushyant Singh which was followed by Salman and others.
While Salman kept a stoic face in the court others appeared to be little tense.
The court posed 61 questions each to Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu.
Counsel for the co-accused KK Vyas said they did not want to produce any evidence in their defense as the same has already been said in the court.
Earlier, the court had summoned Salman and the other co-accused for recording of their statements in a case filed against them for alleged poaching of two blackbucks at Kankani village in 1998. (PTI)

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