By Alexandra Hansen
An Indian court has convicted four men of the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year old student in New Delhi last December, a case that provoked global outrage.
Delivering his verdict, Judge Yogesh Khanna found the four guilty of “gang rape, unnatural offences, destruction of evidence and…committing the murder of the helpless victim."
The victim – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was a student of physiotherapy who died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
The crimes carry a maximum penalty of death by hanging, but lawyers have indicated that some of the men will appeal against the verdict in a higher court. Arguments about sentencing are expected to commence on Wednesday.
The case has already spurred the passage of new laws against sexual crimes, amid rising public anger over the prevalence of harassment and violence against women.
The family of the victim, who is being referred to as “Nirbhaya” – Hindi for “Fearless” – is calling for the men to be hanged.
But one defence lawyer has termed the convictions “political”.
Two other men were accused of involvement in the crime. One, aged 17 at the time of the attack was sentenced to three years in prison last month, while another suspect hanged himself while in jail.