Hong Kong double murder: Suspect acted rationally before and after he killed women, says psychiatrist

Rurik Jutting arriving at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong on Nov 24, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - British investment banker Rurik Jutting acted rationally before and after he killed two Indonesian women in his luxury Hong Kong apartment, ordering food for one victim and calling his mother after the killings, the prosecution said on Wednesday (Nov 2).

Jutting, a former Bank of America Corp employee, has pleaded not guilty to the 2014 murders, but guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter due to "diminished responsibility", citing his heavy drug and alcohol abuse and sexual disorders.

The mutilated body of Ms Sumarti Ningsih, 23, was found in a suitcase on the balcony of Jutting's apartment and Ms Seneng Mujiasih, 26, was found inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks.

Prosecutor John Reading called Dr Kavin Chow, an associate consultant at the Department of Forensic Psychiatry at Hong Kong's Castle Peak Hospital, to state that Jutting had moments of sobriety in between the killings and should have been able to resist "the use of substance".

Dr Chow noted that Jutting acted rationally, ordering food for his victim Ms Ningsih as well as cleaning up the bathroom after he killed her. "Despite the presence of abnormality of the mind, it doesn't substantially impair his mental responsibility," she said.

Mr Reading said Jutting called his mother after he killed Ms Mujiasih, before he reported himself to police. Details of the conversation were not made clear in court.

The defence have called British experts in forensic psychiatry and psychology who have testified that Jutting has recognised disorders from cocaine and alcohol abuse on top of his other personality disorders of sexual sadism and narcissism, which impaired his ability to control his behaviour.

The defence has also argued that Jutting, a 31-year-old Cambridge university graduate, felt huge stress during his banking career.

Mr Reading said Jutting only worked for 10-15 days in the period before he was arrested and only worked a few hours per day. Jutting stopped responding to work in the second week of October, 2014, just before the killings, said Mr Reading.

Jutting, a former vice-president and head of Structured Equity Finance & Trading (Asia) at Bank of America, had felt great pressure when his boss told him his professional activities would be monitored, his defence has said.

The court heard on Tuesday (Nov 1) that Jutting called his boss at the Bank of America in Hong Kong before he called the police and warned them that its reputation was at risk, defence lawyer Tim Owen said.

The trial, which is in its second week, has attracted large international scrutiny due to the brutality of the killings in a city where crime is relatively low.

Jutting captured hours of footage on his iPhone of him torturing Ms Ningsih. He also filmed rambling monologues he called the "narcissistic ramblings of Rurik Jutting", where he discussed the murders, binged on cocaine and explained his violent sexual fantasies.

Freshly shaven and wearing a pale blue button down, Jutting focused on the session intently on Wednesday, making notes in his sectioned off area where he was flanked by three policemen.

Jutting smirked and smiled at times as his defence team challenged Dr Chow, the prosecution witness.

Murder carries a mandatory life sentence, while manslaughter carries a maximum of life, though a shorter sentence can be set.

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