The trial of a 31-yeard old British man accused of a violent double murder has begun in Hong Kong.
Rurik Jutting is accused of killing two Indonesian women in his apartment in 2014. At least one of the women are understood to have been employed as a domestic worker.
Jutting plead not guilty to murder charges, after having a guilty plea for the lesser charge of manslaughter rejected.
Both Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 26, suffered severe injuries including having their throats slit.
The evidence of these injuries is so shocking in fact, that Deputy High Court Judge Michael Stuart-Moore has warned jurors that they should not take part if they are unable to cope with viewing extreme materials.
“There is a particularly horrifying aspect of the case. One of the victims was subject to extreme cruelty and violence”, he said.
“The defendant even recorded on his IPhone the torture inflicted on the first victim before she died”.
The jury will watch a 30 minute video on Tuesday, though the rest of the court room will not be able to see the content. The audio will be available to the whole court.
Jutting’s defence rests on his argument of diminished responsibility. Jutting’s lawyer Tim Owen explained that this argument is based on Jutting’s “personality disorder”.
Jutting was found fit to stand trial after a psychiatric assessment in 2014.
Cocaine was found in Jutting’s luxury apartment, and he is quoted as telling investigators: “I could definitely not have done that without cocaine”.
The case is being followed closely by Hong Kong’s 300,000-strong migrant worker population, many of whom are Indonesian.
Many ‘domestic workers’ in Hong Kong are foreign, and argue they are treated unfairly.
About a dozen representatives of the Indonesian and Filipino communities protested outside the
court, holding placards with slogans such as “Justice for Wanchai Murder victim”.