India jails six over Swiss gang rape in Madhya Pradesh

media captionThe men were paraded before the media, as Donna Larsen reports

A court in India has sentenced six men to life imprisonment over the gang rape of a Swiss tourist in March this year.

The woman, 39, and her husband were attacked while camping in woodland in central Madhya Pradesh state.

The men, aged between 22 and 30, were all from a village close to the scene of the rape.

The attack came months after a 23-year-old Indian woman died following a gang rape on a bus in Delhi, sparking protests across the country.

Days after the Swiss tourist was raped, changes to the laws were passed, containing stricter punishments for rapists, including the death penalty.

"All the accused have been convicted and we are satisfied with the judgement," prosecutor Rajendra Tiwari was quoted as saying on Saturday.

The couple had been on a long cycle tour, as they headed to the Taj Mahal in Agra in Uttar Pradesh, when they were assaulted and robbed in a dense area of forest in the Datia district on 15 March.

Five of the suspects were detained and put before the media soon afterwards and a sixth was later arrested.

While all six were jailed for life on Saturday, reports say one of them was convicted of assaulting and robbing the couple, rather than the rape itself.

They were charged in late March. The victim gave a witness statement by video in late May.

Five men are being tried over the fatal gang rape in Delhi last December.

A verdict is expected next week in the case of one who was aged 17 at the time of the attack. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in a reform facility.

The others face the death penalty. A sixth suspected was found dead in jail.

The victim, a physiotherapy student, and a male friend were beaten on a bus and the woman was then raped. She suffered massive internal injuries and died in hospital in Singapore weeks later.