| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI Feb 2 Five men pleaded not guilty on
Saturday to charges they gang raped and murdered an Indian
trainee physiotherapist, in a case that led to a shake-up of
laws against sexual crimes after protests about a rising number
of attacks on women.
A Reuters witness saw the men file into the court room with
their faces covered, where lawyers in the case said they were
read thirteen charges including murder, which carries a maximum
penalty of death. They left after 15 minutes.
"After the judge read out the charges, the five pleaded not
guilty and walked out" said A.P. Singh, a lawyer defending two
of the accused, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur.
Singh said the next hearing will be held on Feb. 5, when the
prosecution will call three witnesses to the formal start of the
A sixth person police say was part of the gang that attacked
the woman and her friend is a juvenile and will be tried
Police say the gang lured the 23-year-old physiotherapy
student onto a bus, where they repeatedly raped and assaulted
her with a metal bar before throwing her bleeding onto a
highway. She died of internal injuries two weeks later.
(Reporting Suchitra Mohanty; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel;
Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)