UK banker charged in Hong Kong double murder

2014-11-03 14:17
Rurik George Caton Jutting is escorted by police officers in an police van before appearing in a court in Hong Kong. (Apple Daily, AP)

Rurik George Caton Jutting is escorted by police officers in an police van before appearing in a court in Hong Kong. (Apple Daily, AP)

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Hong Kong - Police in Hong Kong charged a British banker on Monday with killing two women, including an Indonesian woman whose body was found inside a suitcase on the balcony of the man's upscale apartment, authorities said.

The killings have shocked Hong Kong, an Asian financial hub with a reputation as a safe city with a low rate of violent crime.

Rurik George Caton Jutting appeared briefly at a preliminary hearing, at which he spoke only to confirm that he understood the two murder charges against him.

Police said on the weekend that the 29-year-old had called them to his apartment in Hong Kong's Wan Chai nightlife and red light district at 15:42 on Saturday.

Court documents listed his nationality as British and his occupation as a "Banker of Bank of America". Jutting worked for the bank until recently, Bank of America Merrill Lynch spokesperson Paul Scanlon said on Sunday.

According to a police statement, officers rushed to the man's apartment, where they found an unconscious woman, aged 25-30, with cuts to her neck and buttock. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

While investigating, police found a suitcase on the balcony containing the body of a dead woman who had sustained neck injuries and had died a few days’ earlier, police said.

A charge sheet said a woman named Sumarti Ningsih was killed on 27 October, which indicates she was the woman whose body was found in the suitcase. The other woman's name was unknown.

Indonesian consulate spokeperson Sam Aryadi confirmed that Sumarti was Indonesian. Eni Lestari, an adviser with the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong, indicated that the second woman was also Indonesian.

"We are now trying to locate those victims' families and we're trying to let the families and relatives know about this very sad situation", said Aryadi, who added that records showed Sumarti entered Hong Kong with a tourist visa on 4 October and was given permission to stay until 3 November.

During the brief court appearance, the two murder charges were read to Jutting, who was wearing black pants and a black T-shirt with "New York" and "Champions" written on it. When asked if he understood the charges, he said "I do" in a calm voice. He was remanded into custody until 10 November.

Police said they seized a knife at the apartment, located in Hong Kong's upscale J Residence building, a 40-story apartment tower.

Jutting is a University of Cambridge graduate who had been working in structured equity finance and trading for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong since July 2013 and before that in London for about three years, according to a listing on LinkedIn. Prior to that he worked for Barclays.

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