In what is probably one of the worst and most inhumane crimes committed in Asia in recent history, a British banker, Rurik Jutting is now on trial at court in Hong Kong. He is accused of torturing and then murdering two young women in his luxury apartment back in October 2014.
Rurik was on a cocaine binge over that fateful weekend, when he first invited a young woman Sumarti Ningsih, 23, over to his flat, after paying her to spend time with him. Over the next three days, he tortured her brutally, using tools he bought from a nearby hardware store and took a long video of the torture and murder on his iPhone, describing the ordeal the young woman had to go through. After he murdered her, he shoved her remains in a suitcase that remained on his balcony, as he invited his next victim.
Seneng Mujiasih, 28, a single mother from Indonesia who was on a tourist visa and was probably doing odd jobs, including casual prostitution, came over to his apartment, not knowing there was already the corpse of another woman in the flat. He murdered her shortly after, and then called the police to confess his crimes.
At the crime scene were 26 empty bags of cocaine (each contained at least a gram) and Red Bull cans strewn around. Police found the first victim’s mutilated body on the balcony, the result of three days of unspeakable horror. They also found the other victim’s body on the floor. Her throat had been slit and she had other torture marks on her body.
The perpetrator, a 31-year-old banker with Merrill Lynch who is an alumnus of Cambridge University, had recently quit his job and admitted to his dependence on drugs. In the video, he says he planned to go back to his hometown in the UK, kidnap high school girls and make them his “sex slaves”. He is now undergoing trial for the double murder as well as unlawful disposal of a body.
The video that he shot, over 20 minutes long, was so gruesome, that it could not be shown in court. Instead, the audio was played, and the jury was deeply affected, with some showing signs of distress like clenched jaws and tears in their eyes. Jutting himself was sitting, visibly thin, looking up as if in prayer, and not maintaining eye contact with anybody else in the room. Only a select number of journalists were allowed in the courtroom, owing to the sensitivity of the case.
Jutting’s defence does not deny the heinous crimes, but have pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of “diminished responsibility” due to substance abuse and mental issues. This claim has been denied by the court. If and when charged, he will face life imprisonment.