Singapore doctor testifies via videolink in gang-rape case
NEW DELHI - Agence France-PresseA Singapore doctor who performed the autopsy on an Indian gang-rape victim testified via videolink on Monday in the trial of five men accused of her murder, a defence lawyer said.
The 23-year-old student who was raped and attacked with an an iron bar in December died of massive internal injuries after the Indian government airlifted her to a top Singapore hospital in a last-ditch bid to save her life.
"The doctor who conducted the post-mortem on the woman at the Singapore hospital has deposed before the trial court judge," lawyer V.K. Anand told AFP without commenting further.
Despite huge public interest in the case, the judge has barred reporting of the proceedings of the trial.
Anand said two other doctors from Mount Elizabeth Hospital would also testify in the trial which is being held in a new "fast-track" New Delhi court established to hear the case.
Post-mortem testimony in murder trials is vital to establish the cause of death, as well as help to determine whether the death was intentional, lawyers say.
The physiotherapy student was attacked on a New Delhi bus while returning home after watching a film at a mall, in a brutal assault which outraged the nation and triggered angry protests.
Five men are on trial for murder, rape and robbery and other charges, while a sixth defendant, who is a juvenile, is being tried separately.
Although sexual harassment is commonplace in India and gang-rapes far from rare, the case has touched a nerve in the country, leading to an outpouring of criticism of the police and attitudes toward women in Indian society.