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British banker accused of two gruesome murders appears in Hong Kong court

The bodies of two women were found in the man’s apartment.

Image: Vincent Yu

A BRITISH BANKER appeared in a Hong Kong court today charged with the grisly murder of two women whose bodies were found in his upmarket apartment, one of them decomposing in a suitcase.

Rurik Jutting, a 29-year-old securities trader who until recently worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, had called police to his home in the Wanchai district in the early hours of Saturday.

Investigators found a naked woman with knife wounds to her neck and buttocks in the living room of the flat, on the 31st floor of a plush residential block. The corpse of the other woman was discovered decaying inside a suitcase on the balcony.

Police reportedly believe the victims were sex workers.

Court documents named one of the victims as Sumarti Ningsih, listing the other as an unknown female. At least one of the women was Indonesian, the government in Jakarta said.

Jutting, a Cambridge graduate, showed no emotion as he listened to the charges against him at a magistrate’s court in Wanchai. He was taken to jail to await his next hearing on November 10.

Heavily-built and bearded, he wore a black T-shirt and dark-rimmed glasses in court. He spoke only twice to confirm he understood the charges against him before police escorted him from the packed courtroom.

The banker posted on his Facebook page last week that he was embarking on a “new journey”.

“Stepping down from the ledge. Burden lifted; new journey begins. Scared and anxious but also excited. The first step is always the hardest,” he wrote on Monday.

Body in suitcase

Wanchai is known for its late-night drinking holes popular with expatriate revellers, and is home to a thriving red light district where sex workers, many of them from Southeast Asia, ply their trade.

Officers said earlier that maggots were found in the corpse hidden in a suitcase, which appeared to have been there for several days.

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“This body belonged to a person who has passed away for quite some time,” police assistant district commander Wan Siu-hung told reporters.

A resident said a “disgusting” smell had been emanating from the building.

At today’s brief 15-minute hearing, Jutting’s lawyer Martyn Richmond complained that his client was denied contact with British consular officials for 36 hours, as well as access to his preferred defence attorney. Jutting did not seek bail.

© – AFP 2014

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