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British banker accused of gruesome murder smiles as he leaves court

Vigils have been held for Seneng Mujiasih and Sumarti Ningsih.

Image: Vincent Yu/PA Wire

A BRITISH BANKER charged with the grisly murder of two young women flashed a smile as he left a Hong Kong court Monday, after his case was adjourned for psychiatric evaluation.

The 29-year-old securities trader, who until recently worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is accused of killing two young Indonesian women whose mutilated bodies were found at his upmarket apartment in the southern Chinese city.

As the bodies of the victims were due to be flown home to Indonesia, Rurik Jutting shot a grin from the back of a prison van following the hearing.

The case was “adjourned… for two psychiatric reports on the defendant’s fitness to plead”, said principal magistrate Bina Chainrai.

Reports by two different doctors are required under Hong Kong law, prosecutor Louise Wong told AFP.

Jutting is being held at Hong Kong’s maximum-security Siu Lam psychiatric centre, Wong confirmed.

He will next appear on 24 November.

Jutting, bearded and wearing black-rimmed glasses, remained impassive during the brief hearing at the Eastern Magistrate’s court — his second appearance after being charged with the murders a week ago.

‘No consent’ to reconstruction

He spoke only once to say “I do” when the magistrate asked him whether he understood the arrangements.

Prosecutor Wong told the court that a reconstruction of the crime “has not yet been conducted because the defendant did not give consent”.

Defence lawyer Tim Parker said that Jutting had not agreed to a reconstruction yet but may do in future.

Parker also applied to obtain video recordings of interviews police had conducted with Jutting.

Following the hearing, Hong Kong solicitor Michael Vidler, who is also acting in Jutting’s defence, said it could be months before a plea is entered.

“Can’t give definite answer on that — could be 3-5 months time,” Vidler told AFP in an email.

Hong Kong Women Killed An Indonesian domestic worker puts flowers on pictures of Sumarti Ningsih, left, and Seneng Mujiasih during a vigil to express their solidarity and to demand justice at a park in Hong Kong Source: Vincent Yu

The bodies of Seneng Mujiasih and Sumarti Ningsih, both in their 20s, are due to be flown home Tuesday morning, Indonesian consulate officials in Hong Kong said.

They were discovered after Jutting called police to his flat in the city’s Wanchai district in the early hours of 1 November.

Seneng was found naked in the living room, with knife wounds to her neck and buttocks.

Sumarti’s decaying body was found hours later by police, stuffed into a suitcase on the apartment’s balcony.

According to court documents, she was killed on 27 October.

Police are investigating whether the victims were sex workers.

Wanchai is known for its late-night drinking holes popular with expatriates, and is home to a thriving red light district.

High-flyer Jutting was a pupil at the exclusive English boarding school Winchester College before studying history and law at Cambridge University.

On 27 October he posted on his Facebook page 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 that same date his licence from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for dealing in and advising on securities was cancelled, according to its website.

Jutting’s three licences for dealing in securities and futures contracts with the city’s Securities and Futures Commission also ended on 28 October, according to its website.

According to the Huffington Post, Rurik wrote an out-of-office email that could be seen as sinister, given his subsequent actions. He reportedly set the following as his automated email response:

I am out of the office. Indefinitely. For urgent enquiries, or indeed any enquiries, please contact someone who is not an insane psychopath. For escalation please contact God, though suspect the devil will have custody (Last line only really worked if I had followed through).

The Siu Lam centre where Jutting is being held is on the outskirts of the city and run by Hong Kong’s correctional services department.

At the end of September, 268 prisoners were being held there — convicted or on remand — its website said.

- © AFP, 2014

Read: Father of Hong Kong murder victim wants her killer put to death

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