25 Jan 2013

Rape case being heard in secret

1:08 pm on 25 January 2013

A judge in India has denied a motion to make public the proceedings in the trial of five men accused of the gang-rape and murder of a student on a bus in New Delhi in December.

The prosecution says it has DNA evidence linking the suspects to the murder.

The ABC reports the trial will be held behind closed doors after the judge ruled against a motion to allow the media inside the courtroom.

The judge has also barred lawyers from speaking to the press about the proceeding, despite the huge public interest in the case.

The student's rape touched a nerve in India, sparking protests and an outpouring of criticism about the systemic mistreatment of women in Indian society.

The woman, who was also assaulted with an iron rod, died of massive internal injuries 13 days after the attack on 16 December, prompting widespread public demands for India to introduce the death penalty for rapists.

The five accused face charges including murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping, with prosecutors expected to demand the death penalty.

A sixth suspect, thought to be a juvenile, will most likely face trial in a children's court.

The case is being heard in a special fast-track court,