Asia

Hong Kong Rurik Jutting murder case: Father of Sumarti Ningsih speaks

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Media captionFather Ahmad Kaliman: "It is very difficult for us to bear this news"

The father of one of the women found murdered in the Hong Kong flat of a British banker has said he was left stunned by news of her brutal death.

"I was told she was killed, mutilated and packaged into a suitcase. What can you do - this is fate," Ahmad Kaliman told BBC Indonesian.

Sumarti Ningsih, 23, was one of two Indonesian women found dead in the flat of Rurik Jutting.

On Monday he was remanded in custody after being charged with their murders.

Some reports suggest the women were sex workers at the time of their death, but at least one of them is believed to have earlier worked as a domestic helper in Hong Kong.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sumarti Ningsih, seen here in a childhood photograph, last entered Hong Kong on a tourist visa

From his village in central Java, Mr Kaliman told BBC Indonesian he believed the death penalty should be handed down to her killer and called for her body to be returned to the family.

"I ask the government of Indonesia to help me return my daughter to me. She was an Indonesian citizen. Please help return her body as soon as possible."

Ms Ningsih's parents said they were informed of her death late on Monday night - three days after news of the murders emerged. They said she travelled to Hong Kong on a tourist visa about two months ago and their last contact was on 15 October.

"She called me and asked me how the family was. Sumarti also said she would return on 2 November to Indonesia. When she didn't return... I sent her an SMS, but it wasn't delivered," Mr Kaliman said.

He believed she worked in a restaurant.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police, pictured searching Mr Jutting's home, found Sumarti Ningsih's body in a suitcase

BBC Indonesian was also told more about the second murder victim, Seneng Mujarsi, 29, who was also known as Jesse, by a friend of both the victims.

"When I first met Jesse in HK she was working as a sex worker," the friend, who works as a cleaner in Bali, said.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Rurik Jutting was in handcuffs as he arrived at the court on Monday

"Jesse didn't want to become a sex worker, neither did the second girl. But Jesse needed to send money back to her family in Indonesia and help to build a house for her mother," she said.

On Monday, 29-year-old Mr Jutting, appeared during a brief court hearing at Eastern Magistrates' Court. Asked if he understood the charges against him, Mr Jutting, who grew up in Chertsey in Surrey, replied: "I do."

He had resigned from a job at Bank of America Merrill Lynch a week ago. An automatic reply left on his work email read: "I am out of the office. Indefinitely. For urgent enquiries, or indeed any enquiries, please contact someone who is not an insane psychopath."

He is believed to be a Cambridge University graduate. Winchester College, an independent boarding school in Hampshire, confirmed he had been a student there.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The apartment block is in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong

Hong Kong Police said they had retrieved a knife from the apartment in the J Residence block, which is situated in an affluent area and popular with professional people working in the financial sector. Mr Jutting had called them to his home at 03:42 on Saturday (19:42 Friday GMT).

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