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Indian rape suspects plead not guilty

Five men pleaded not guilty Saturday after being formally indicted in a special court on 13 charges, including rape and murder, in the fatal gang rape of a woman in a New Delhi bus, a lawyer said.

The men signed statements in the fast-track court saying they were innocent of all charges, said one of the men's lawyers. The lawyer cannot be identified under a gag order imposed by the court.

The men were indicted on 13 counts, including rape, murder, destroying evidence and kidnapping.

The court will begin hearing the evidence of witnesses on Tuesday. If convicted, the five men, who are in their 20s and 30s, could face the death penalty.

A sixth suspect, who is 17, will be tried in a juvenile court and could face a maximum sentence of three years in a reform facility if convicted.



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