Two of the five men accused of gang-raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in New Delhi last month will plead not guilty to all charges, a lawyer said today.
“They will plead not guilty to all charges,” M.L. Sharma, who says he represents Mukesh Singh and Akshay Thakur. “Nothing has been proven yet.”
Mukesh Singh, who is the brother of the alleged bus driver Ram Singh, and laborer Thakur are two of the five charged with rape and murder over the December 16 attack on the young student, which has fueled protest demonstrations across India.
Officials at Tihar jail, the maximum security prison where the accused are held, confirmed that Sharma had met the two defendants today.
Prosecutors have said they have evidence of bloodstains linking the men to the attack. But the advocate said he would challenge the police over their handling of evidence, while refusing to give details.
The next hearing, to be held behind closed doors, has been scheduled for Thursday when a magistrate is expected to transfer the case for trial in a special fast-track court.
It is not yet clear who will represent the three other defendants, all residents of New Delhi slums aged from 19 to 35.