Rapists sentenced after fast-track trial

June 2, 2005 at 3:42 AM

JODHPUR, India, June 2 (UPI) -- In one of the fastest trials in India, two men have received sentences of life in prison for raping a German tourist three weeks ago.

A special "fast" court in Jodhpur in the western state of Rajasthan convicted and sentenced the men Wednesday after a trial that lasted just 16 days, The Indian Express reported.

"To our knowledge, this is the first time ever in the history of the legal system that a case has been decided in such a short duration," said Hastimlal Saraswat, special public prosecutor for the case.

The victim, a 47-year-old employee of Lufthansa Airlines, was raped May 11 by an auto-rickshaw driver and an accomplice on the outskirts of Jodhpur. The victim stayed in India to assist the trial but left for Germany after identifying the two men in court.

Women's groups say many rape victims are deterred from coming forward to testify because of India's poor rate of conviction and lengthy trial process and because they fear being stigmatized, the BBC reported. Some cases take years to deliver a verdict.

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