Four found guilty of Delhi student gang rape
Defense lawyer says trial was politically motivated
File photo of an anti-rape protest in New Delhi earlier this year
A New Delhicourt has found four men guilty of the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student in December last year.
The four accused, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur were found guilty on Tuesday on 13 counts, including murder, rape and destruction of evidence. Sentencing will be on Wednesday.
The victim, who cannot be identified under Indian law, was repeatedly raped on a bus and assaulted with an iron pipe and later dumped at a street corner on the night of December 16, 2012.
She died on December 29 in a hospital in Singapore, where she had been transferred due to the severity of her injuries.
The crime caused nationwide outrage and protests over the lack of safety for women in India.
The girl’s family was present in the court when the verdict was delivered.
"Nothing short of a death sentence for all the accused will satisfy us," the victim's father said.
Defense lawyer AP Singh told reporters after the verdict that the trial was “unfair” and that the convicted men would appeal.
"This was a politically motivated judgment. We will challenge the court order in a higher court in all sincerity and with stronger evidence. The four accused were not … in the bus in which the offence allegedly took place," Singh said.
The verdict only reflects the public mood and it is a case of delivering a judgment with a political motive to cool public tempers, he said.
“It was bad in law. Our clients [the accused] neither had people’s support nor money," he added.
Singh claimed that Vinay was at a concert when the incident took place, while Akshay was not even in Delhi.
Six people were arrested in connection with the case. One committed suicide in jail earlier this year, while another, a 17-year-old minor at the time of incident, was sentenced to three years last month.
The savagery of the rape caused uproar in parliament, forcing the government to make changes to the anti-rape laws.
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