updated 3/17/2004 10:13:26 AM ET 2004-03-17T15:13:26

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.

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The 35-year-old, 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 on  the side of the street.

“If it was (bin Laden), we would have won $5 million,” Mendel said, referring to a reward that has been posted for the al-Qaida leader.

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.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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