The much-awaited trial in the Kochi actress attack case began at a sessions court in Kochi on Wednesday.

The actress, through her counsel, moved a plea, seeking to set up a special court presided by a woman judge for hearing the case. She also sought speedy disposal of the case through in-camera proceedings.

Popular Malayalam actor Dileep is the eighth accused in the case of alleged sexual assault on the actress by a gang of men in a moving car in Kochi. There are 12 accused in the case.

10 of the accused, including prime accused Pulsar Suni and Dileep, were present in the Ernakulam principal sessions court. Besides the prosecution, the actress was represented by criminal lawyer PG Manu.

Meanwhile, the court said that all the evidence, barring copies of visuals of the alleged sexual assault committed on the actress by the gang, can be provided to the defence. The case has been posted for March 28.

Last week Dileep had moved a petition in the High Court, seeking a copy of digital evidence of the alleged attack on the actress. In his plea, the actor said he was denied the rights of a defendant by a trial court in Angamaly.

Last month, the Angamaly judicial magistrate court dismissed a plea by Dileep, seeking copies of visuals of the alleged sexual assault. The magistrate court had accepted the argument of the prosecution that the clippings could be misused by Dileep, affecting the privacy of the actress.

Dileep secured bail nearly three months after his arrest on July 10 last year. Pulsar Suni is in jail since his arrest early last year.

The actress, who has worked in Tamil and Telugu films, was abducted and allegedly molested inside her car for two hours by Suni and his accomplices, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17 last year and later escaped.

(With PTI inputs)