Hong Kong jury sees British banker's torture video in murder trial
(Note: This story contains graphic details in paragraphs 10, 11, 12 and 15 and 17)
By Farah Master
HONG KONG (Reuters) - The jury in the trial of a British investment banker accused of murdering two Indonesian women in his Hong Kong apartment on Tuesday watched a horrific video that he filmed while sexually torturing and killing his first victim.
Rurik Jutting, 31, has admitted killing the two women but has pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of "diminished responsibility", while pleading guilty to the lesser crime of manslaughter.
The four women and five men, all middle-aged, shifted on their seats, clenched their jaws, drew in their breath, and sometimes dropped their eyes as they sat through the grisly 20 minute clip on the second day of the trial.
Bespectacled and wearing pale blue shirt, Jutting was flanked by three policemen as he watched what he had done on a video recording a judge said had been found on his iPhone.
The Cambridge University graduate, who had attended Winchester College, one of Britain's most prestigious private schools, shut his eyes, sometimes covering his face with his hand rather than look at the screen in front of him.
While the video was not shown to the public in the courtroom, journalists covering the trial could hear the audio.
After boasting of humiliating and killing his first victim, 23-year-old Sumarti Ningsih, Jutting spoke of a "fantasy" to kidnap three teenaged girls from Wycombe Abbey, a girls' boarding school in High Wycombe, a town northwest of London.
Jutting used a belt, sex toys, a pair of pliers and his fists to torture Ningsih before eventually slitting her throat with a serrated-edged knife, according to the prosecution.
On the recording, Jutting spoke in a relaxed soft voice as he taunted, bullied and mutilated Ningsih, a single mother who had been visiting Hong Kong on a tourist visa.
"Its better than being beaten isn't it? Do not cry, take it like a good girl," Jutting said as he described how he was going put his fist into her.
Jutting called his victim 'Alice' as he tormented her.
While threatening to cut off her nipples he calmly said: "This doesn't really hurt does it? You deserve some water don't you? Just one more before some water."
After that video, others showing Jutting and Ningsih's mutilated, naked body were screened in an open court room.
Jutting, appearing topless, very overweight and unshaven, spoke in a series of monologues to the camera meandering from repenting for what he did to describing the pleasure he derived from the tortuous acts.
"I just killed someone, first person I ever killed, I cut her throat in the bathroom...to be precise I cut her throat while she was bending over licking dirty toilet bowl," he said.
He is shown taking cocaine while he explained how he tortured her.
"I treated her as a non person, a sex object and that turned me on."
As he listened to the passage where he fantasized over plans to kidnap British schoolgirls, Jutting shook his head while holding a hand over his face.
Prior to the jury selection on Monday, Deputy High Court Judge Michael Stuart-Moore warned potential jurors that if they were unable to cope with viewing extreme violence they should excuse themselves.
The defense and prosecution were largely in agreement over the physical evidence, Stuart-Moore had advised the jurors on the first day of the trial.
He told them that the outcome could rest on psychiatric and psychological testimony to determine whether it was a case of murder or manslaughter.
Murder carries a mandatory life sentence, while manslaughter carries a maximum of life though a shorter sentence can be set.
The women's bodies were found in Jutting's luxury high-rise Hong Kong apartment after he had called police.
Ningsih's remains were discovered in a suitcase on the balcony, while the body of the second victim, 26-year-old Seneng Mujiasih, was found inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, the prosecutor told the court.
Mujiasih, a domestic helper, was working in a bar when she met Jutting, according to the prosecution.
Jutting had previously worked at Bank of America Corp in Hong Kong, and during one of the videos Jutting remarks that after killing Ningsih, he felt most guilty about not being in the office to close a "financing deal for a literally soulless project."
As he prepared to hide the body in a suitcase Jutting questions whether he has a problem as he feels excited.
He also briefly mentions “job depression,” and his addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Bank of America said in November 2014 that Jutting had worked there until recently but did not say exactly when or why he left. The bank declined to comment further when contacted by Reuters on Tuesday.
(This version of the story corrects final paragraph to show Bank of America declined to comment on Tuesday, not Monday.)
(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)