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Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 18:00

2016 trial for Briton accused of double murder

By Agencies
2016 trial for Briton accused of double murder

British banker Rurik Jutting (2nd left ), accused of the murders of two Indonesian women, sits in a prison van as he arrives at the eastern court in Hong Kong on May 8, 2015. ( AFP PHOTO / ANTHONY WALLACE)

HONG KONG - 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.

The grisly murders of the two women, described by Hong Kong media as prostitutes, shocked the city, which has a low homicide rate.

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.

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