Prosecution wants India gang-rape accused handcuffed
NEW DELHI, India - Indian prosecutors said on Monday, January 14, that the five adults charged with the murder and gang-rape of a student in New Delhi are "dangerous men" and should be handcuffed while in custody.
The five accused, who have so far not been handcuffed when brought to court, were produced before a magistrate for the third time on Monday.
The proceedings, which are being held behind closed doors, were adjourned until Thursday following legal arguments, lawyers told AFP outside the courtroom.
"These five men have committed a heinous crime, they gang-raped and murdered a woman. They must be handcuffed by the police to prevent them from attacking anyone in the jail or in the court," public prosecutor Rajesh Mohan told AFP.
Mohan said the prosecution had officially requested the five be handcuffed and the court would give its ruling on Thursday.
There are strict limits on handcuffing in India. It can be used only in exceptional circumstances, when the court deems that there is a real prospect that a suspect could escape or attack fellow inmates.
Defence lawyer A.P. Singh, who is representing two of the accused, said his clients are not "hardened criminals" and should not be handcuffed.
The five adults have been charged with murder, rape and robbery in connection with the December 16 attack on the 23-year-old student, who died 13 days later in a Singapore hospital from horrific injuries.
A sixth suspect, who says he is 17 years old, is likely to be tried in a juvenile court if medical tests confirm he is a minor. He will be presented before the court on Tuesday.
The attack on the student outraged Indians, leading to massive protests and calls for tougher laws to punish rapes.
In her first published comments, the mother of the student said on Sunday that all her daughter's attackers deserve to die, regardless of age.
A wide-ranging gagging order has been imposed on media coverage of the proceedings. - Rappler.com