Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has been found guilty of involvement in a string of deadly bombings in the western Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) in 1993.
Dutt, 47, was convicted by the court of illegally possessing weapons. He will be sentenced at a later date.
He was among 123 defendants facing trial over 12 blasts that killed 257 people and injured more than 700.
UPDATE: Sanjay Dutt was convicted on illegally possessing weapons but cleared of conspiracy charges in connection with a series of bomb blasts in Mumbai that killed 257 people in 1993.
Sentences will be handed after all the verdicts are delivered, expected to take two more weeks. The offence could attract a sentence of up to three years, but Dutt has already served more than year in prison during investigations.
Judge PD Kode said the actor was guilty of illegally possessing weapons that had been given to him by some of the men accused of carrying out the bomb attacks, but he added: “I’ve not found him to be a terrorist or destructor.”
Accepting Dutt’s confession, Kode observed: “Considering matters in his confession and also taking into account certain admissions from other evidence, I accept the stand of Sanjay of acquiring and possessing weapons for self defence.”
Sanjay Dutt’s confession
In his confession recorded on April 22,1993, Sanjay Dutt had admitted that Salem had visited his Pali Hill residence in January 1993.
The actor maintained that Salem was brought to his home by Samir Hingora and Hanif Kadawala – proprietors of Magnum Video, who are close associates of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Salem, according to Dutt, had brought three AK 56 rifles, some magazines and 250 rounds. But Dutt said he kept only one and returned two AK 56s back to Samir and Hanif.
Dutt said he needed the weapons to protect his family as they had received threatening calls during the 1992 Mumbai riots.
Despite repeated complaints, he said the police did not give the family any protection. But when he heard about the blasts and the arrest of Samir and Hanif, he asked his friend Nulwala to destroy the gun.