S'pore doc testifies in India rape case

A doctor from Singapore's Health Sciences Authority (HSA) testified via videolink today in the trial of five men charged with raping and murdering a 23 year old student in New Delhi, a case that has sparked a revamp of India's gender laws.Dr Paul Chui, director at HSA's forensic medicines division, answered questions primarily related to the autopsy of the victim after she died at the Mount Elizabeth hospital, where she was flown from New Delhi for specialised treatment.Defence lawyers said Dr. Chui deposed for well over two hours answering questions from both the prosecution as well as the accused's counsels."He was asked about the nature of the injuries sustained by the deceased," A.P. Singh, one of the defence lawyers, told The Straits Times.The victim, a physiotherapy student who was raped and severely beaten on a moving bus on December 16, was flown to Singapore on December 27. She died two days later. She had sustained severe injuries to her intestines.Her death triggered off massive nation-wide street protests calling for stronger gender laws to protect women. The government has issued a legal order overhauling much of the country's gender laws. Parliament is expected to ratify it into a new law soon.The trial is being carried out by a fast-track court behind closed doors. The media is banned from reporting details of the proceedings. While the fast-track court is trying five men for the crime, a sixth accused, a minor, is being tried by a juvenile crimes board.  "We expect more doctors from Singapore to depose. But we don't know when," said V.K. Anand, another defence lawyer. The trial is being held on a daily basis. Testifying via videolink is rare in India.Earlier defence lawyers had said they would cross-examine a doctor from Mount Elizabeth hospital on an ortho-dental report that confirmed the bite marks on the victim matched most of the men arrested. mkritti@sph.com.sg