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India gang rape hearing to determine whether suspect is adult; could be life-or-death ruling

Defense lawyers say a suspect in the gang rape and slaying of a young woman on a New Delhi bus will appear in a hearing intended to determine whether he is a juvenile.

If the suspect is 17, as he claims, he will be tried in a juvenile court and face up to three years in a reform facility if found guilty. A conviction as an adult could bring the death penalty.

The hearing is expected Tuesday, defense lawyers said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of a judge's gag order on the case.

Five men also have been charged in the case, though one of them also claims to be a minor.

The woman died of internal injuries. The attack sparked outrage over widespread violence against India's women.