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Delhi court convicts four men in gang rape of 23-year-old woman

A court in Delhi has convicted four men involved in the gang rape a 23-year-old woman, who later died from her injuries. Members of the victim's family have called for the death penalty.

A fast-track court pronounced the four defendants in the high-profile gang rape case guilty of rape.

Presiding judge Yogesh Khanna said the defendants were also found guilty of "unnatural offenses, destruction of evidence...and for committing the murder of the helpless victim."

Judge Khanna hand down sentences for the four men on Wednesday. Members of the victim's family have called for the death penalty.

A.P. Singh, one of the defense lawyers, vowed to appeal the verdict, which he said was unfair and "political."

In December, a 23-year-old woman and her male friend, also in his 20s, boarded a bus after watching a movie at a local mall. The six men aboard the bus then attacked the two, repeatedly raping the woman and beating the man traveling with her. The two were later dumped onto the side of the road after the ordeal.

The young woman was flown to a hospital in Singapore after the attack, where she died of her injuries roughly two weeks later.

Authorities arrested six men connected to attack in the days that followed. Last month, a juvenile court found one of the men, who had been a minor at the time of the gang rape, guilty of murder and rape. He was given the maximum sentence for a juvenile of three years' detention. The sixth defendant was found hanging in his prison cell in March. All of the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

During the seven-month trial, the court heard over 100 witnesses, 85 of which testified for the prosecution. Prosecutors also admitted DNA evidence and testimony from both victims.

The case sparked widespread protests in India and eventually prompted lawmakers to introduce tougher laws against convicted rapists.

kms/mkg (AP, AFP, dpa)