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Witness relief for Salman

Mumbai, June 24: A witness in the September 2002 hit-and-run case involving Salman Khan retracted his police statement in court today and claimed he had not seen the actor get out of the Toyota Land Cruiser or flee the spot.

“My police statement that I saw Salman get out of the driver’s seat of the car and run away from the spot is incorrect,” Sachin Kadam, a security guard posted outside Neelsagar Hotel opposite the American Bakery where the accident happened, told the sessions court.

Kadam claimed he had only told the police a big car had rammed into the downed shutter of a shop, taking prosecutor Jagannath Kenjralkar totally by surprise.

When Kenjralkar cross-questioned him, Kadam stuck to his point. But he could not answer why the police would record a “false statement”.

Kenjralkar then urged the court to declare Kadam a hostile witness. But the court did not immediately pass an order.

During cross-examination by defence lawyer Shrikant Shivade, Kadam said he had not seen the accident. “I heard a loud noise and only then I went there to see that a car had rammed into a shop,” he said.

It is the prosecution’s case that a drunk Salman was driving the Land Cruiser that ran over five bakery employees, killing one and injuring four.