HONG KONG — The case of a British banker accused of the grisly murders of two Indonesian women has moved closer to trial in Hong Kong after it was sent to the High Court on Friday.
Rurik Jutting did not enter a plea and declined a preliminary inquiry in a pre-trial hearing Friday before a lower court magistrate.
Jutting was charged after police found the bodies of the two women, both in their 20s, in his apartment near the heart of Hong Kong’s Wan Chai red-light district last year. One of bodies was stuffed in a suitcase left on the balcony.
When asked if he wanted to indicate how he would plead, Jutting said, “No plea at this time.”
In response, the magistrate said, “I take it as not guilty.”
Jutting, who wore the same black “New York” T-shirt he has worn in previous court appearances, faces life in prison if convicted. The case’s next hearing would likely be in four to six weeks in the High Court, his lawyer said.
The case shocked the former British colony, which has a reputation for being safe, and highlighted the expatriate community’s extremes of inequality.
Jutting, a Cambridge graduate, had worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. One of the dead women, Sumarti Ningsih, had come been working as a maid but stayed on in Hong Kong after her visa lapsed. The other victim, Seneng Mujiasih, was on a tourist visa.