Ritz-Carlton murder

Ritz-Carlton murder suspect remanded in custody at Hong Kong psychiatric centre

Prosecutors await results of evaluation to see if South Korean businessman fit to plead

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 January, 2018, 3:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 January, 2018, 5:46pm

A South Korean businessman was remanded in custody on Tuesday ahead of a second hearing to determine whether he is fit to plead, a day after being charged with the murder of his wife and six-year-old sonat a luxury hotel in Hong Kong.

Appearing slightly dishevelled, Kim Min-ho confirmed he understood the two charges of murder against him, in a hearing that lasted seven minutes.

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The 42-year-old is accused of murdering his wife, Song Wha-jeong, 42, and son, Kim Tae-yun, between January 13 and 14. They were found dead in bed in a luxury suite at The Ritz-Carlton hotel on Sunday morning.

Speaking through a Korean translator, Kim nodded and spoke calmly to confirm he understood the first charge: “Yes, I do.”

Asked by Principal Magistrate Bernadette Woo Huey Fang on the second charge, Kim said: “I understand the second charge.”

Kim, CEO of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in South Korea, entered the court wearing dark-rimmed glasses and an oversized navy blue puffer jacket.

The magistrate adjourned the case at the request of prosecutors, pending reports from psychiatrists “to see whether the defendant is fit to plead”. The request was made on behalf of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where doctors had examined Kim.

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“This doctor has examined the defendant prior to attending this court, which humbly asks for your worship to consider remanding the defendant in Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre,” the prosecutor said, explaining that “as the defendant was noted to be confused with [incoherent] speech, including yelling in both English and Korean, when he was admitted on January 14.”

The case was adjourned until January 30.