3 Feb 2013

Not guilty pleas entered in gang rape case

6:48 am on 3 February 2013

Five men in India have pleaded not guilty to the rape and murder of a female student on a Delhi bus in December.

One of the men's lawyers said the accused signed statements to say they were innocent after being formally charged in a fast-track court.

The court will begin hearing evidence from witnesses on Tuesday.

Prosecutors say they have strong evidence against the five, including DNA and phone records.

A sixth suspect is to be tried in a juvenile court.

The woman, who was also assaulted with an iron rod, died of internal injuries 13 days after the attack on 16 December.

The incident caused outrage across India, sparking nationwide protests and calls for the death penalty for rapists.

In response to the outcry, the cabinet has now approved harsher penalties for sex crimes.