All eyes on Hong Kong jury as it retires to decide if British banker is guilty of murdering two women
Judge reminds them to use common sense in reaching verdict on Rurik Jutting, who has claimed diminished responsibility for killing Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 26
A Hong Kong jury of five men and four women retired on Tuesday morning to decide whether a British banker was guilty of murdering two Indonesian women in his flat two years ago, with the judge calling on them to use their common sense in reaching a verdict.
The nine-strong jury entered the deliberation chambers at 9.42am after the 10-day trial of Rurik Jutting, 31, who has admitted to the unlawful killings of Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 26, but denied that they were murders.
Among the questions they will have to consider is whether the Briton had failed to resist impulses to take alcohol or cocaine, or whether he was virtually unable to do so as a result of his addictions.
Jutting’s legal team had advanced the defence of diminished responsibility by arguing that his abnormality of mind, induced by mental diseases such as alcohol and cocaine use disorders, had substantially impaired his ability to control himself.
But prosecution psychiatrists countered that the impairment was not substantial as Jutting still had the ability to control his cocaine and alcohol intake – despite the cravings – and perform goal-directed tasks.
In his final direction, deputy High Court judge Mr Justice Michael Stuart-Moore asked the jury to return a unanimous verdict or at least a majority vote agreed on by seven members as he gave each juror a written set of questions to consider behind closed doors.
“Try to be unanimous on a verdict,” he said. “Anything less than seven is called a disagreement.”
Stuart-Moore also reminded jurors to bring their collective years of life experience plus common sense into the jury room and asked them to listen to each other during deliberations.
“Don’t leave behind your common sense you had with you all your life. Keep it with you and apply it,” he continued. “At all times you have to stay true to the oath or affirmation you took before the trial.”
The Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body is raising funds for the two victims’ families over two weeks. You can donate at:
Account name: Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong
Account address: Nathan Road, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Account number: 127-7-027379
Bank name: HSBC
Please SMS or Whatsapp your receipt to 6992 0878.