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India: Life in jail for rape of Swiss tourist

India has sentenced six men to life in prison for their roles in raping and robbing a Swiss citizen. The attack followed the gang rape of a student on a bus in Delhi.

"All the accused have been convicted, and we are satisfied with the judgment," said the public prosecutor in the case, Rajendra Tiwari, after the ruling handed down by a special court. "The maximum punishment under these offenses is that of life imprisonment and that has been handed to the men," he added.

Prosecutors only charged four of the six defendants with gang rape because testimony from the victim called two of them "only present at the crime scene," according to M.L. Dhody, a Datia police officer. Those two were convicted of assault and robbery.

Police in the central state of Madhya Pradesh detained the six men soon after the mid-March attack on the woman (pictured above being taken to hospital under police escort) camping with her husband, whom the assailants tied up as they carried out the rape. They also robbed the couple.

The court also fined those convicted - all between the ages of 22 and 30 - 20,000 rupees ($337) each, the news agency DPA reported.

India's legal system has faced intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women following the Delhi rape case, in which a 23-year-old female student later died after being assailed by six men on December 16 last year. Officials expect the first verdict in that case on July 25.

mkg/kms (AFP, dpa)