Thursday 8 December 2016

British banker accused of killing two women in Hong Kong apartment 'tortured victim for three days while using cocaine' - trial

Kelvin Chan, in Hong Kong

Published 24/10/2016 | 13:17

File photo of Rurik George Caton Jutting, a British banker charged with two counts of murder after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment, sitting in the back row of a prison bus as he arrives at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo
File photo of Rurik George Caton Jutting, a British banker charged with two counts of murder after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment, sitting in the back row of a prison bus as he arrives at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo
Police officers stand guard next to a prison bus which carries British banker Rurik Jutting upon his arrival at the High Court in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. . (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A migrant workers alliance group holds placards to protest the killings of two Indonesian women in 2014 outside the High Court in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A motorcade taking British former banker Rurik Jutting to High Court in Hong Kong, China October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
A motorcade taking British former banker Rurik Jutting to High Court in Hong Kong, China October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
A migrant workers alliance group holds placards to protest the killings of two Indonesian women in 2014 outside the High Court in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. British banker Rurik Jutting accused of the grisly 2014 killings pleaded not guilty when he went on trial Monday, in a case expected to highlight the Asian financial hub's inequality and privileged lifestyle of its wealthy expat elite. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Michael Vidler (R), lawyer of British former banker Rurik Jutting, arrives with an unidentified woman at High Court in Hong Kong, China October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

A British banker accused of killing two Indonesian women in his Hong Kong apartment had tortured one of the victims for three days while using cocaine, a court has heard.

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Cambridge University graduate Rurik Jutting, who worked at the Hong Kong office of Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, denies murdering Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 26, who were found dead in his apartment near the Asian financial centre's Wan Chai red light district.

Jutting pleaded not guilty to two murder charges, with prosecutors rejecting his attempt to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

At the start of the trial, Hong Kong high court judge Michael Stuart-Moore warned jurors that evidence would include "extremely upsetting" photo and video evidence.

File photo of Rurik George Caton Jutting, a British banker charged with two counts of murder after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment, sitting in the back row of a prison bus as he arrives at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo
File photo of Rurik George Caton Jutting, a British banker charged with two counts of murder after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment, sitting in the back row of a prison bus as he arrives at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo
Police officers stand guard next to a prison bus which carries British banker Rurik Jutting upon his arrival at the High Court in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. . (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Ms Sumarti went to Jutting's apartment when the banker offered her "a large sum of money", prosecutor John Reading said in his opening remarks.

Ms Sumarti, who was in Hong Kong on a tourist visa, had a five-year-old son living with her parents in Indonesia, he said.

Jutting is alleged to have subjected her to "increasingly cruel acts of violence".

The prosecutor added: "After torturing her for three days, he took her into the bathroom, had her kneel in front of the toilet bowl with her hands tied behind her back, made her lick the toilet bowl and then he cut her throat with a serrated-edged knife."

A migrant workers alliance group holds placards to protest the killings of two Indonesian women in 2014 outside the High Court in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A migrant workers alliance group holds placards to protest the killings of two Indonesian women in 2014 outside the High Court in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Jutting is alleged to have used his phone to film himself talking about the killing, how he enjoyed dominating Ms Sumarti and how he watched pornographic videos involving extreme violence.

He also said he "definitely could not have done that without cocaine", the court heard.

A motorcade taking British former banker Rurik Jutting to High Court in Hong Kong, China October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
A motorcade taking British former banker Rurik Jutting to High Court in Hong Kong, China October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

After she died, the prosecution alleges that Jutting put her remains in a suitcase he left on the balcony.

Ms Seneng was officially in Hong Kong as a foreign maid but was working at a bar where Jutting met her and offered her money for sex, Mr Reading said, according to facts agreed on by both sides.

Michael Vidler (R), lawyer of British former banker Rurik Jutting, arrives with an unidentified woman at High Court in Hong Kong, China October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Michael Vidler (R), lawyer of British former banker Rurik Jutting, arrives with an unidentified woman at High Court in Hong Kong, China October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

In the banker's apartment, Ms Seneng started shouting when she saw a rope gag near the sofa, and Jutting grabbed her and cut her throat with a knife hidden under a cushion, the prosecutor said.

Jutting apparently started hallucinating after using cocaine, and he called police himself, the court heard.

Officers who arrived found Ms Seneng's body and arrested Jutting. Ms Sumarti's remains were found a few hours later.

In interviews, Jutting told police everything that happened as well as discussing his drug use, Mr Reading said, adding that traces of cocaine were detected in more than two dozen small plastic bags found in the apartment.

Jutting watched the court proceedings intently and took notes from the glass-screened dock. He wore a dark blue shirt, dark-framed eyeglasses and looked much slimmer than in court appearances last year.

The trial continues on Tuesday, when jurors are scheduled to view the graphic videos found on Jutting's iPhone.

The women's murders and Jutting's arrest in 2014 shocked the city, which has a reputation for being safe but also has extreme inequality among its foreign workers.

The former British colony has a sizeable white-collar expatriate elite alongside more than 300,000 migrant domestic workers, almost all of them women from Indonesia or the Philippines.

Press Association

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