Prosecution rejects banker's lack of control in HK double murder trial
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File photo of Rurik George Caton Jutting, a British banker charged with two counts of murder after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment, sitting in the back row of a prison bus as he arrives at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong November
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HONG KONG (Reuters) - British investment banker Rurik Jutting was calm and aware of his actions when he killed two Indonesian women in his Hong Kong apartment, a prosecutor said on Tuesday, rejecting his defense that he had lost control due to drugs and sexual disorders.
Prosecutor John Reading cross examined defense witness Dr Richard Latham, a British psychiatrist, stating "even when he was at his most aggressive, even when he was torturing her (Sumarti Ningsih), his conduct to her was very controlled".
Latham had told the court on Monday that Jutting, who previously worked at Bank of America Corp, has recognized disorders from cocaine and alcohol abuse on top of his other personality disorders of sexual sadism and narcissism, which impaired his ability to control his behavior.
Jutting, 31, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih 26, two years ago on grounds of "diminished responsibility", but guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The women's bodies were found in Jutting's luxury high-rise Hong Kong apartment. Ningsih's mutilated body was found in a suitcase on the balcony, Mujiasih's was found inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, the prosecutor told the court.
Defense lawyer Tim Owen on Tuesday said that Jutting's time at Bank of America in Hong Kong, starting in September 2013, had been highly stressful.
Jutting received notice from his boss that his professional activities were being monitored, which he described as unjustified, and it was then that he started consuming heavy amounts of vodka before sleeping, Owen said.
Bank of America declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
During his time in Britain with the bank Jutting had been involved in risky tax instruments, was regarded as unpredictable, and was also monitored for high travel costs, said Owen.
One tax instrument in Luxumborg was flagged by internal auditors as a serious risk to the organization and Jutting was moved to another part of the bank before moving to Hong Kong, Owen told the court.
Jutting's boss had told him he was one of the most unpredictable people he had ever worked with, said Owen.
Latham on Tuesday acknowledged that Jutting was in control in parts leading up to the killings but emphasized the killings were not something Jutting intended to do.
"There is little doubt in my mind that he knew what he was doing. He clearly remembered it...but knowing what he was doing is different to controlling his behavior," he said.
Jutting captured hours of footage on his iPhone of him torturing Ningsih. He also filmed rambling monologues where he discussed the murders, binged on cocaine and explained his violent sexual fantasies.
The defense has said Jutting suffered sexual abuse as a teenager during his time at Winchester College, one of Britain's oldest and most prestigious schools, when he was forced to have oral sex on another boy. The defense also detailed Jutting's father attempted suicide by slashing his wrists when he was 16.
His narcissistic personality disorder where he is boastful and arrogant was his attempt to cover a "fragile" shell, Latham testified on Monday.
Jutting's alcohol abuse disorders started from 2011 as well as a strong preference for sexual violence, torture, rape and slavery, Latham said on Monday
The defense and prosecution were largely in agreement over the physical evidence, but the dispute may lie in psychiatric and psychological evidence provided by the defense to determine whether it was a case of murder or manslaughter.
Murder carries a mandatory life sentence, while manslaughter carries a maximum of life though a shorter sentence can be set.
(Reporting by Farah Master, additional reporting by Anne Marie Roantree Editing by Greg Torode and Michael Perry)
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