HONG KONG — A British banker was convicted of murder Tuesday for killing two Indonesian women in Hong Kong, torturing one of them over three days while using cocaine in a gruesome case that shocked the Chinese financial hub.
The nine-person jury returned unanimous verdicts against Rurik Jutting after a two-week trial in the High Court. The slayings in 2014 and the disclosures as the case developed highlighted Hong Kong’s significant inequality as well as the decadent lifestyles of some members of the former British colony’s expatriate elite.
Jutting faces a mandatory life sentence. In a statement his lawyer asked to be read into the court record, Jutting said he was sorry and accepted the verdicts as “just and appropriate punishment.” He also said he was haunted by his actions and the pain he’d caused to the women’s loved ones.
He was convicted for killing 23-year-old Sumarti Ningsih and killing 26-year-old Seneng Mujiasih days later.
Jurors were shown graphic smartphone video clips filmed by Jutting in which he tortured Sumarti before slitting her throat and then stuffed her body inside a suitcase that he left on the balcony of his upscale apartment near Hong Kong’s famous Wan Chai red-light district.
Jutting had attempted to plead guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility. Prosecutors rejected that argument but the jury could have considered it on its own.
The Cambridge University graduate was working at the Hong Kong office of Bank of America-Merrill Lynch in structured equity finance and trading at the time of the killings.
He had offered both women large sums of money to come back to his apartment to have sex.
Seneng was in Hong Kong on a tourist visa after an earlier stay as a foreign maid. Sumarti was officially on a maid visa but was working at a bar. They were among Hong Kong’s more than 300,000 migrant domestic workers, most of them women from Indonesia or the Philippines.