HONG KONG (AFP) - An elderly Hong Kong couple were allegedly dismembered by their son and his friend before being salted, cooked and packed into lunchboxes "like barbecued pork", a court has heard.
The severed heads of 65-year-old Chau Wing-ki and his wife Siu Yuet-yee, 62, were found in March last year, stuffed into two refrigerators in a bloodstained apartment, days after they were reported missing.
The other remains were found in a rubbish bin, cooked and packed into lunchboxes with rice, in an attempt by the duo to hide the crime after they ran out of space in the refrigerators.
Their 30-year-old son Henry Chau pleaded not guilty to both counts of murder on Wednesday, reports said, as he and alleged accomplice Tse Chun-kei appeared on the second day of the trial before a packed court.
The South China Morning Post reported that Chau pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility on Tuesday, while Tse, 36, denied both counts of murder.
Both men have admitted preventing the couple's lawful burial.
Prosecutors allege that Chau and Tse planned the murder for months, buying knives, refrigerators, microwave ovens and a rice cooker.
The couple were recorded by closed-circuit television on March 1 last year entering a building with their son, the prosecution said. It was the last time the couple were seen alive.
Their son left the building alone some 20 minutes later, according to the report. He then sought treatment at a hospital for some cut wounds on his hands, which the prosecution alleged he sustained while struggling with his father.
Chau initially told police that his parents had gone to mainland China, but later admitted to the murder on an Internet messaging group. He sent WhatsApp messages from inside the police station to a friend in which he confessed that he had killed his parents.
In evidence read to the city's High Court on Wednesday, Chau claimed that he planned to mislead the police in order to buy himself some time to say goodbye to friends.
"My murdering partner and I were planning to make it a missing person case and dump the body piece by piece," he said..
He also called himself a "psychopath" in the messages and said: "I cannot empathise with people's pain because of my experience from childhood and adolescence."
The Post reported that Chau claimed to have killed his parents with the help of Tse during an emotional breakdown, but prosecutors allege that the murder was carefully planned.
The two were arrested on March 15. Police conducted a search of the flat and found the dismembered bodies, as well as notes and receipts that suggested the duo had started planning the killings in November 2012.
The newspaper reported that Chau told police that he and Tse killed his parents, but it was Tse who dismembered the bodies. He claimed Tse told him the fridges were not big enough and that Tse then salted some of the remains and kept them in boxes.
Chau also alleged that Tse had cooked the remains of the bodies before packing them in lunch boxes along with some rice and disposing of them in a rubbish bin, according to the report.
But Tse denied playing any part in the killings. He said Chau had showed him a box containing a human hand and other body parts before warning him that it would be hard for Tse to convince people that he had not helped dismember the bodies, according to the newspaper.