HONG KONG (AFP) - A British banker accused of murdering two Indonesian women who were found mutilated in his upscale Hong Kong apartment appeared at the High Court Thursday (Aug 11), ahead of his October trial.
Rurik Jutting, a 31-year-old former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee, listened attentively at the pre-trial hearing, which was closed to the public.
No details of the hearing, which organised aspects of the trial, can be reported at this stage due to restrictions imposed by the court.
Jutting has previously indicated he would plead not guilty to two charges of murder.
Dressed in a light blue shirt and wearing black-rimmed glasses, Jutting - visibly thinner than at previous appearances - remained impassive throughout, surrounded by four security guards.
Jutting would face life in prison if convicted on the murder charges.
Seneng Mujiasih and Sumarti Ningsih, both in their 20s, were found dead in Jutting's flat in the early hours of November 1 after he called police to the scene.
Mujiasih was found in the living room, naked and with knife wounds to her legs and buttocks, while the decaying body of Ningsih was found hours later in a suitcase on the balcony.
The killings shocked the city of seven million - typically regarded as safe and known for its glitzy skyscrapers - and shone a spotlight on the seedy underbelly of the financial hub.
Police have said cocaine and sex toys were found in Jutting's apartment, which was just a few streets away from Hong Kong's red-light district, where he was reportedly a regular.
Jutting was deemed fit to stand trial in November following psychiatric tests.
Local media have described the two victims as prostitutes from Indonesia.
Bank of America has previously said Jutting was an employee but it has not said why he left or given any timeframe.
A Linkedin account under Jutting’s name said he had worked in structured equity finance and trading at Bank of America in Hong Kong since July 2013. Before that, he had worked in the same department but in London.
The profile also said Jutting had worked in structured capital markets at Barclays between June 2008 and July 2010 and had studied at Cambridge University.
According to people who were at Cambridge at the same time, Jutting attended Peterhouse, the oldest college, and was president of the Cambridge University History society.
He was also a cross-country runner and a rower.
Prior to Cambridge he went to Winchester College, one of Britain’s oldest private schools.