Man Thought He Was Running Over Bin Laden
MONTPELLIER, France - A French artist allegedly traumatized by last week's Spain bombings was convicted of trying to run over a pedestrian he mistook for Osama bin Laden and ordered to pay the man $615.
The 35-year-old defendant, identified as Pierre, was sentenced Tuesday by a court in this southern France city to a three-month suspended prison term. The man he tried to run over was unharmed.
Pierre's lawyer, David Mendel, said his client was the "victim of a hallucination" while driving Monday through Montpellier's historic center.
The victim, a man in his 30s, was able to run from the oncoming car, which crashed along the side of a street.
"If it was (bin Laden), we would have won $5 million," Mendel said, referring to a reward.
The Madrid train bombings, which killed 201 people, increasingly appear to have been orchestrated by Islamic extremists with links to bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network.