British banker's murder trial in HK adjourned to allow psychiatric reports

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 09, 2014 10:24 PM

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A court in Hong Kong on Monday adjourned the trial of a 29-year-old British banker charged with killing two women until later this month to allow for the suspect to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Rurik Jutting, who had worked at Bank of America Corp <BAC.N> in Hong Kong, was charged with two counts of murder last week after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment, including one inside a suitcase on a balcony.

The other was discovered lying inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, police have said. Local media have described the two victims as prostitutes.

The court granted a request from prosecutors that the hearing be adjourned until Nov. 24 so two psychiatric reports could be prepared. Jutting's lawyers from Vidler & Co had no objection.

Wearing a black T-shirt with New York emblazoned across the front and sporting a beard and mustache, Jutting, when asked if he understood that he needed to get his lawyers to represent him, replied to the judge: "Yes, madam."

He has said little else in his two brief court appearances so far and has not entered a plea.

Jutting was arrested on Nov. 1 at his apartment in Wan Chai, a central city district known for its vibrant night life.

Police had been expected to conduct a reconstruction of the killings but Jutting has so far refused to give his consent, one of his lawyers said. Such reconstructions are common in Hong Kong and usually involve the suspect being taken back to the scene of the alleged crime.

Bank of America has previously said Jutting was an employee until recently but it has not said why he left or given any timeframe.

(Reporting by Farah Master and Denny Thomas; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Dean Yates)