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Delhi gang rape case fast-tracked

  • The case of five men charged with the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi is to be moved to a fast-track court for trial.

    The case is set to get under way on Monday.

    A sixth suspect, who is believed to be 17, will be tried separately in a youth court if it is confirmed he is a minor.

    The victim, a physiotherapy student who cannot be named in India for legal reasons, and a male friend were attacked on a bus in the Indian capital on December 16. She passed away two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore.

    The attack sparked national outrage, leading to protests across the country.

    In response, the government has announced measures intended to make New Delhi safer for women.

    The five accused have been named as Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur.

    If convicted, they may face the death penalty, which is seldom carried out in India.

    The lawyer for Ram Singh has said he will file a petition arguing for the case to be transferred out of New Delhi over fears the trial may be prejudiced due to the intense media scrutiny.

    Meanwhile, another lawyer last week claimed that his clients had been tortured into admitting the crime.

    Lawyers for two of the suspects have said they will plead not guilty. It is unclear how the other three accused will plead.

    Prosecutors have stated they have extensive forensic evidence.