British banker set to enter not guilty plea for Hong Kong double murder

British banker Rurik Jutting (right), charged with the grisly murders of two women, smiles as he sits in a prison van leaving the eastern court in Hong Kong on Nov 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
British banker Rurik Jutting (right), charged with the grisly murders of two women, smiles as he sits in a prison van leaving the eastern court in Hong Kong on Nov 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - A British banker accused of murdering two Indonesian women in Hong Kong six months ago appeared before a judge in a pre-trial hearing on Friday and indicated he would enter a plea of not guilty.

Rurik Jutting, a former Bank of America employee, entered a formal "no plea at this time" but acknowledged to the judge that it could be taken as "not guilty".

His case will proceed to trial at the Court of First Instance, likely in the next four to six weeks.

The grisly murders of the two women, described by Hong Kong media as prostitutes, shocked the city, which has a low homicide rate.

After being charged for the double murder, Jutting was found fit to plea following a psychiatric assessment at the end of 2014.

Jutting, a former Cambridge graduate, was accused after police found the bodies of two women in his luxury high-rise apartment. One was found lying inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks. The other was discovered in a suitcase on the balcony, authorities have said.