International

Guilty verdict for juvenile tried in Delhi gang-rape case

The teenager is found guilty of rape and murder in connection with the young woman's fatal attack

Indian Muslim women hold posters during a protest against the gang-rape of a female photographer in Mumbai on Monday. The attack reignited anger that has simmered since the brutal Delhi gang-rape.
Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

A court in India has found a juvenile guilty of rape and murder in connection with the December 2012 gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, according to the teenager's defense lawyer and court officials. An official verdict is due later Saturday.

Al Jazeera's Nidhi Dutt said sentencing would come sometime after Saturday's court proceedings.

The young woman's death sparked an international outcry that prompted India to enact a new law protecting women against sexual violence and implementing stricter punishments for attackers. The victim was attacked while riding a bus with a male friend.

The court had delayed releasing its verdict four times since wrapping up the case against the teenager.

The Supreme Court this month cleared the way for the principal magistrate to deliver a verdict, ruling that she could disregard a legal challenge cited as the main reason for the delay.

Six men were initially arrested over the crime in which the 23-year-old student was raped and assaulted with an iron bar.

Her male companion was also allegedly beaten before both were thrown from the bus.

The woman died in a Singapore hospital -- where she had been transported for treatment -- two weeks later from internal injuries she sustained during the attack.

The attack sparked street protests over India's failure to protect women from violence and led to parliament passing a tougher law against sex crime.

The gang-rape of a 22-year-old photographer in the financial hub of Mumbai this month rekindled anger over the safety of women in India.

Possible death sentence

The juvenile, who was 17 at the time of the crime, faces a maximum three-year sentence at a correctional facility. This includes the time he has already spent in custody while waiting for a verdict.

The trial of four adult suspects is still in progress, but is expected to wrap up in the next few weeks, with the men facing a possible death sentence if convicted.

The fifth adult suspect died in jail in an apparent suicide.

The parents of the victim have called for their daughter's attackers to be hanged.

They have criticized what they view as the leniency of the juvenile justice system, which seeks to reform rather than punish criminals who are under 18.

"He had knowledge of what he was doing," said the victim's father, who cannot be named according to Indian law. "How can he be considered a juvenile?"

Al Jazeera and wire services

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