New Delhi gang rape verdict for juvenile suspect not expected until 25 July

Teenager will learn his fate later this month and faces three years in a reform facility if found guilty

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The Independent Online

The verdict against the first suspect to be tried in the case of the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman, who subsequently died, on a bus in New Delhi has been deferred until later this month.

According to the man's defence lawyer, the Indian Juvenile Justice Board will hand down the verdict against the teenager, who is charged with rape, murder and a series of other crimes including destroying evidence, in relation to the attack carried out on 16 December when he was only 17, on 25 July.

The court had earlier expected to return its decision today.

The young man, who has since turned 18, is being tried alongside four adults. All five deny the charges.

A sixth suspect was found dead in jail after reportedly hanging himself, although his family and defence lawyers allege he was murdered.

If found guilty the juvenile will face a maximum sentence of three years in a correctional facility if found guilty, while the adults all could be handed the death sentence.

Between them the group are accused of tricking the young woman and a male companion into boarding an off-duty bus before raping and brutalising her and beating the man before dumping them at the side of the road. The woman died two weeks later at a Singapore hospital.

The attack received worldwide coverage and condemnation, sparking furious protests across India about the treatment of women in the country. The reaction led to a swift overhaul of sexual assault laws and the four adults are now being tried in a special fast-track court set up specifically to deal with sex crimes.