British banker's Hong Kong murder trial set for next year

AP News
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Posted: Oct 14, 2015 5:38 AM

HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong court on Wednesday set an October 2016 trial date for a British banker accused in the gruesome murders last year of two Indonesian women, including one whose body was found stuffed inside a suitcase.

At a hearing, a High Court judge scheduled Rurik Jutting's case to go to trial Oct. 25, 2016, Jutting's lawyer Michael Vidler said.

He said the trial is expected to last 20 days, with a pre-trial review set for Aug. 24.

Jutting did not appear at the brief hearing.

The 30-year-old Cambridge graduate and former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee is accused of killing Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih, both in their 20s.

Jutting was deemed fit to enter a plea following psychiatric assessments last year, but has not yet done so.

He has been in jail since being arrested after the women's bodies were found in his Hong Kong apartment last November. One of the bodies had knife wounds on the neck and buttock, while the other was found inside a suitcase left on the balcony.

Lengthy waits before trial are not uncommon for major Hong Kong cases expected to last nearly a month as busy lawyers and judges have to find enough time in their schedules. A recent high-profile High Court corruption case involving tycoons and government officials that ended in December also took nearly a year to get to trial.