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UK banker pleads not guilty to Hong Kong double murder

A British banker accused of murdering two Indonesian women who were found dead in his luxury Hong Kong apartment two years ago has pleaded "not guilty" in court. The grisly killings shocked the former British colony.

Rurik Jutting, 31, entered a plea of not guilty to the double murder on grounds of "diminished responsibility" at the start of his trial in Hong Kong's High Court on Monday.

Police found the bodies of Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih in Jutting's high-rise apartment, not far from the financial hub's red-light district, in November 2014. According to officials, one of the bodies was stuffed in a suitcase on a balcony, and the other lying inside with knife wounds to her neck and buttocks.

The Cambridge University graduate, who previously worked at Bank of America Corp in Hong Kong, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter, and to a third charge of preventing lawful burial of a body.

Rurik Jutting soon after his arrest in late 2014 (Reuters/Apple Daily)

Rurik Jutting was charged with murder in November 2014

Jutting's barrister told the court the argument for diminished responsibility was based on the grounds of a personality disorder. The prosecution argued that psychopathic behavior was not a reason for diminished responsibility.

Jutting was found fit to plea after undergoing psychiatric assessment at the end of 2014 soon after he was charged for the double murder. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

The victims, aged in their 20s, were among Hong Kong's 300,000-strong community of migrant domestic workers. Outside the court on Monday, a small group of protesters from Indonesian migrant worker organizations called for justice and compensation for the victims' families.

nm/kl (Reuters, AP, AFP)

 

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