Delhi gang-rape accused deny being in bus

Two defendants in the New Delhi gang-rape and murder trial Thursday claimed they were not in the bus on which the 23-year-old student was repeatedly raped, the Press Trust of India said.

Accused Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta made the plea before a special fast-track court hearing the trial in the capital, reported the PTI news agency.

"Vinay's mobile contains a video recording and photos which can establish that he and Pawan were not in the bus on the night of incident," the agency quoted defence lawyer A.P. Singh as telling the judge.

Sharma and Gupta were attending a musical night along with a third friend in their neighbourhood who could be a crucial witness in the case, the counsel said, accusing the police of "falsely implicating" them in the case.

The pair, arrested along with four others shortly after the crime on December 16, have been charged with gang-rape, robbery and murder following the death of the physiotherapy student.

Last month, the main accused in the case and the driver of the bus used in the assault was found dead hanging in his prison cell.

The case has led to months of soul-searching over widespread sexual crime in India, resulted in tougher laws to punish rapists and focused global attention on violence against women in the country.