India gang-rape trials near conclusion

'STOP THE RAPES' Members from The All India Democratic Students' Organization hold posters as they take part in a protest in Ahmedabad on December 24, 2012, following the gang rape of a student last week in the Indian capital. AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY

The trials of 5 suspects for gang-rape of an Indian student on a bus in December 2012 moves towards their conclusions on Thursday, with the first verdict set for August 31. The Supreme Court clears a juvenile court to hand down its verdict on a teenager charged over the brutal assault. Previously, the juvenile court delayed ruling on the under-age suspect four times because of a legal challenge. The prosecution also begins its final arguments at a court in southern New Delhi, where the trial of 4 adult defendants is underway. Special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan says the suspects “pre-planned the conspiracy to loot, rape and murder their prey.” He adds, “What is so significant about this case is the extreme brutality of the injury.” Police say the men repeatedly raped the 23-year-old woman and beat her with an iron rod. She died two weeks after the attack. Her death sparked massive protests and public outrage, pushing parliament to pass a law toughening sentences for rapists.

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