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India court to issue first verdict in gang-rape case

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An Indian schoolgirl holds a lighted candle and placard as she takes part in a rally in Ahmedabad, after the death of a gang-rape victim from the Indian capital New Delhi

A court in India will deliver the first verdict on one of the five suspects on trial for participating in the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student in the capital, New Delhi.

The juveniles’ court in the capital finished hearing the case of the suspect, who was 17 at the time of the assault on the young woman in a moving bus, reports said on Wednesday.

The verdict had been expected to be announced to a court on July 11, however, it was deferred to July 25.

If found guilty, the court can give him a maximum term of three years in a reform facility since the suspect was six months short of becoming an adult when the attack was carried out.

The victim was gang-raped and savagely beaten in the moving bus and thrown out on to the street of New Delhi. She succumbed to her injuries in a hospital in Singapore on December 29, 2012.

The victim’s family called on the court to try the teenager as an adult, alongside five other men initially arrested and put on trial following the assault.

“He committed the worst crime and even if he is a minor, the accused should not be allowed to walk free after three years,” the victim’s father said.

The five males and the juvenile were charged with murder, rape, kidnap, robbery and conspiracy. However, one of the adults died while in prison from a suspected suicide in March.

The four adults are being tried in a separate court which will wrap up in the next few months. The adult suspects face a maximum death penalty if convicted.

The horrific nature of the crime shocked Indians and sparked mass protests across the country.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, one woman is raped every 20 minutes in the world’s second-most-populous country.


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