Banker guilty of torture, murders in Hong Kong
Slayings of two sex workers revealed decadent lifestyles of city’s British elite expats
HONG KONG— A British banker was convicted of murder Tuesday for killing two Indonesian women in Hong Kong, torturing one of them over three days while using cocaine in a gruesome case that shocked the Chinese financial hub.
The jury returned unanimous verdicts against Rurik Jutting after a two-week trial in the High Court. The slayings in 2014, and disclosures as the case unfolded, highlighted Hong Kong’s significant inequality, as well as the decadent lifestyles of some members of the former British colony’s expatriate elite.
Jutting bowed his head briefly as the verdicts were read out to a packed courtroom but otherwise showed little reaction. He was given an automatic life sentence.
In a statement his lawyer asked to be read into the court record, Jutting said he was sorry and accepted the verdicts as “just and appropriate punishment.” He also said he was haunted by his actions and the pain he’d caused the women’s loved ones.
Jutting, a Cambridge University graduate who worked for Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, was convicted of killing 23-year-old Sumarti Ningsih and then killing 26-year-old Seneng Mujiasih days later. The two came to Hong Kong as foreign maids but ended up as sex workers.
Jurors were shown graphic smartphone video clips taken by Jutting of his apparent torture of Ningsih, which the judge deemed too graphic for the public to view. He slit her throat and then nearly decapitated her when she didn’t die immediately, according to facts agreed upon by both the prosecution and defence. He stuffed her body inside a suitcase that he left on the balcony of his upscale apartment near Hong Kong’s famous Wan Chai red-light district.
Jutting had planned to torture Mujiasih with about $900 worth of tools and sex toys he had bought hours before. But he killed her when she spotted a gag in his apartment and wouldn’t stop screaming, according to the two sides.
After the verdict, Judge Michael Stuart-Moore called the case “one of the most horrifying murder cases to come to the courts in Hong Kong.”
Rurik Jutting was convicted of the 2014 torture and slaying of Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 26.