Banker guilty of tor­ture, mur­ders in Hong Kong

Slay­ings of two sex work­ers re­vealed deca­dent life­styles of city’s Bri­tish elite expats

Toronto Star - - WORLD - KELVIN CHAN THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

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