China

Rurik Jutting fit for Hong Kong murders trial

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Media captionThe BBC's John Sudworth reports: ''It's a case that shocked Hong Kong''

A British man charged with the murder of two women in Hong Kong has been ruled fit to stand trial by a judge.

Rurik Jutting, a 29-year-old banker, was remanded in custody in Hong Kong earlier this month and referred for psychiatric testing.

He is accused of killing Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih, who were found dead in his flat on 1 November.

The two Indonesian women were in Hong Kong as domestic workers but working in the sex trade.

Judge Bina Chainrai ruled that Mr Jutting was mentally fit to stand trial after spending two weeks having tests in a secure psychiatric centre, the AFP news agency said.

The case has now been adjourned until 6 July 2015, at the request of the prosecution who argued that several months were needed to examine the evidence in detail.


Sumarti Ningsih: From the village to the city

By Karishma Vaswani, Gangrungmangu, Indonesia

There is a power blackout in the village of Gandrungmangu, where Sumarti spent her teenage years. But the lights will be back on soon. At Sumarti's home, a crowd has gathered in the darkness for a Muslim ceremony to mourn her memory.

Sumarti's parents - an elderly, sorrowful couple - are there. In photographs her family show us, large brown eyes peep out from underneath a dark curtain of hair. Laughing and carefree in many of the shots, Sumarti seemed a free-spirited young woman, just beginning to enjoy her life.

But had she stayed here, her life in the village would have been one of daily drudgery. Everyone here wakes at dawn, so that the rituals of the day can begin. Praying, cleaning, cooking, farming - that is what her years would have been filled with.

"She had seen the money her friends made in places like Hong Kong," her mother told me. "She wasn't happy with the life here. She wanted more for us, and for herself."

Seeking a better life in Hong Kong


Wearing the same T-shirt as his last two court appearances, with New York written on the front, Mr Jutting said he understood he would be held in custody until next year.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Jutting lived in the Wan Chai nightlife and red light district where the two women were last seen

Mr Jutting has not entered a plea. If found guilty, he could face a life sentence.

Decomposing in suitcase

On 1 November, Mr Jutting called police to his up-scale home in the Wan Chai nightlife district. Two days later police charged him with the murders which appear to have happened a few days apart.

Ms Mujiasih's body was found in the living room with knife wounds to her neck and buttock.

Ms Ningsih's body was found a few hours later in a suitcase on the balcony. She had sustained neck injuries and police believe she was killed on 27 October.

Mr Jutting, originally from Cobham, Surrey, is a Cambridge University graduate and also studied at Winchester College, an independent boarding school in Hampshire.

He was working in Hong Kong as a securities trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch until just before the women died.

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