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British Banker Faces Murder Charges in Deaths of 2 Women

  • Reuters

Rurik Jutting, 29, right, a British banker who has been charged with two counts of murder, sits in a police van as it arrives at a court in Hong Kong, Nov. 3, 2014.

Rurik Jutting, 29, right, a British banker who has been charged with two counts of murder, sits in a police van as it arrives at a court in Hong Kong, Nov. 3, 2014.

A 29-year-old British banker appeared in a Hong Kong court on Monday charged with two counts of murder after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment, including one inside a suitcase on a balcony.

A court document said Rurik George Caton Jutting worked for Bank of America Corp.

The U.S. bank said that it had, until recently, an employee with the same name, but it declined to give further details.

Looking stony-faced and unshaven and wearing a black T-shirt and dark-rimmed glasses, Jutting told the court he understood both charges. The brief hearing was adjourned until Nov. 10, without Jutting entering a plea.

Jutting was arrested in the early hours of Saturday at his apartment in Wan Chai, a central city district known for its vibrant night life.

Grisly killings

The charge sheet identified the woman in the suitcase as Sumarti Ningsih and said she had been killed on Oct. 27. The second woman, who was not identified, was killed on Nov. 1, the document said. It did not say how they were killed.

Local media described the two victims as prostitutes and said both had neck injuries, adding one was nearly decapitated. One of the women was Indonesian, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.

The grisly murders have shocked Hong Kong, a city with a low homicide rate.

There were 14 homicides in Hong Kong, a city of 7 million people, between January and June, down from 56 in the same period last year, according to government crime statistics.

One of the victims was found in the suitcase, the other lying inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, police have said.

Jutting had called police and asked them to investigate the case, police have also said.

Martyn Richmond, Jutting's duty lawyer, said his client had been denied contact with the British consulate and access to a solicitor of his choice prior to being interviewed.

Jutting had done up to seven police interviews over many hours, Richmond added.

Police declined to comment on Richmond's accusations. The British consulate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Arrested Saturday

Britain's Foreign Office in London said on Saturday a British national had been arrested in Hong Kong, without specifying the nature of any suspected crime.

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.

A spokesman for Barclays in Hong Kong said the bank was not immediately able to confirm if Jutting had worked for them.

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 most famous and oldest private schools.

The apartment where the bodies were found is on the 31st floor of a building popular with financial professionals, where average rents are about HK$30,000 (nearly $4,000) a month.

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