Delhi gang rape: Accused arrive in court for verdict

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Media captionThe BBC's Sanjoy Majumder: "There are camera crews not just from India but across the world"

Four men charged with the fatal gang rape of a student in the Indian capital Delhi last December have arrived at court as it prepares to deliver its verdict.

The 23-year-old woman was brutally assaulted on a bus and died two weeks later.

Her death led to days of violent protests across India in a wave of unprecedented anger.

It also sparked a national debate on the treatment of women.

The accused were taken to court in southern Delhi in a prison van.

The four, who deny charges including rape and murder, could face the death penalty if found guilty of the attack on the physiotherapy student.

Image caption A teenager (head covered) was convicted in August of taking part in the rape

On 31 August a teenager who was found guilty of taking part in the rape in Delhi was sentenced to three years in a reform facility, the maximum term possible because the crime was committed when he was 17. He also denied all the charges.

A fifth adult defendant, Ram Singh, was found dead in his cell in March. Prison officials said they believed he hanged himself but his family allege he was murdered.

The judge, who has been hearing the case since February, is due to pronounce his verdict against the accused in a special fast-track court.

The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says that more than 100 witnesses have testified in what has been a landmark case.

Our correspondent says that the four accused, aged 19 to 35, face capital punishment under new laws introduced after nationwide protests that followed the attack.

The victim, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, was with a male friend when she was attacked on a bus and thrown from the vehicle.

Police said the assailants beat both of them and then raped the woman. She died in a Singapore hospital on 29 December from massive internal injuries.

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