British banker attends pre-trial hearing over HK double murder case

Jutting, a British banker charged with two counts of murder, sits in prison bus as he arrives at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The British banker accused of murdering of two women, one found in a suitcase on the balcony of his luxury Hong Kong apartment and the other inside with neck and buttock wounds, attended a pre-trial hearing on Thursday ahead of his October trial.

Rurik Jutting, 31, who has yet to enter a formal plea over the murders of two Indonesian women in 2014, looked dramatically different to earlier court appearances, mainly due to substantial weight loss and being clean shaven.

Dressed in a button down shirt and black trousers and accompanied by four police officers, the former Bank of America Corp employee’s court appearance was his first public appearance since last October after he was charged.

No details from the hearing can be reported until a verdict has been reached. Jutting’s trial is expected to start in late October.

The grisly murders shocked the financial city of Hong Kong, a city with a low homicide rate. Local media have described the two victims as prostitutes from Indonesia.

Bank of America has previously said Jutting was an employee but it has not said why he left or given any timeframe.

A Linkedin account under Jutting’s name said he had worked in structured equity finance and trading at Bank of America in Hong Kong since July 2013. Before that, he had worked in the same department but in London.

The profile also said Jutting had worked in structured capital markets at Barclays between June 2008 and July 2010 and had studied at Cambridge University.

According to people who were at Cambridge at the same time, Jutting attended Peterhouse, the oldest college, and was president of the Cambridge University History society. He was also a cross-country runner and a rower. Prior to Cambridge he went to Winchester College, one of Britain’s oldest private schools.

(Reporting by Farah Master and Tris Pan; Editing by James Pomfret and Michael Perry)