No plea at Wan Chai double murder suspect's first court appearance
A British banker appeared in court on Monday in connection with the murder of two women in Wan Chai last week.
Rurik George Caton Jutting, 29, stands accused of killing two women at his upscale apartment in the vibrant Hong Kong Island district.
No plea was made on the charges at Eastern Court on Monday.
Watch: British banker in court over grisly Hong Kong double murder
The court heard that police declined Jutting's requests to contact the British consulate-general and a solicitor who he suggested while he was being held in police custody.
The police told him to contact a lawyer on a list provided by Law Society instead, it heard.
The British citizen was arrested early on Saturday in connection with the deaths of the two women after he called police to his apartment.
There, police found the body of a young woman in the living room of the suspect's flat in Wan Chai. Her throat had been slashed. Her indentity has not yet been released by the authorities.
About eight hours after the first body was found, the naked corpse of another young woman was discovered wrapped in a carpet inside a black suitcase on the flat’s balcony. The woman was identified as 25 year-old Sumarti Ningsih.
An initial investigation found that the body in the suitcase had been there for three to four days and had started to decompose.
"We believe the woman had been dead for quite some time," Wan Siu-hung, Wan Chai assistant district commander for crime, said on Saturday.
He said the time gap between the bodies’ discovery was because police had to follow strict procedures to collect the evidence in the living room before searching the balcony.
One person who has lived at J Residence for about a year said he had noticed an odd smell recently. "There was a stink in the building like a dead animal," he said. "It was a shock because you would never expect something like this to happen in Hong Kong."
He said the building’s occupants were mainly expatriates. The rent for a 500 square foot flat at J Residence ranges from HK$25,000 to HK$30,000.
Detectives are also contacting pubs and vice establishments in the area to gather evidence and learn more about the background of the two dead women found in the flat on Saturday after initial assessments suggested that they were prostitutes.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London confirmed that a British national had been arrested in Hong Kong. “We are in touch with the local police and stand ready to provide consular assistance," she said.
The court, upon Defence counsel Martyn Richmond's request, has reminded the press to abide by the rules governing what they could report in court cases.
Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai adjourned the case to November 10 to give police more time to reconstruct the case. In the meantime, Jutting has been remanded in custody.
The murders are the latest in a series of shocking crimes the city has seen in recent months.