Hong Kong Jury Must Watch Torture Videos To Determine Guilt Of Accused Murderer
Videos found on the suspect's iPhone depict the brutal torture of his victims over the course of two days. Many immigrants are wondering about their own safety, and are demonstrating outside the court.
British banker Rurik Jutting as been accused of some rather heinous crimes, including the torture and murder of at least two Indonesian women. Now, a jury is being warned that they will have to watch videos of Jutting's alleged brutality in order to make an informed decision about his guilt.
Jutting, 31, was arrested almost two years after two bodies were found in his luxury high rise apartment. He's claiming that he's not guilty on murder charges, but is admitting to manslaughter and "preventing lawful burial of a body."
Jutting's insistence on his relative innocence might be contradicted by some videos and photos found on his iPhone which depict the brutal torture of his victims over the course of two days.
"There is a particularly horrifying aspect of the case. One of the victims was subject to extreme cruelty and violence," the judge said, asking jurors that could not handle this content be removed from the proceedings.
Jutting's lawyers are using psychological evidence to steer culpability away from him, saying that his personality disorder left him with "diminished responsibility" for his actions. Prosecutor John Reading is claiming that psychopathic behavior "was not a reason for diminished responsibility." The jury must now decide if Jutting is guilty of murder (which comes with a mandatory life sentence) or manslaughter based on these arguments. Working against Jutting is the various sex toys and stimulants found at the scene of the crime.
The trial is receiving international attention not only because it is sensationalist: Hong Kong has long had a reputation as a tourist spot for criminals looking to profit on the city's dark underbelly, leading many to wonder how serious these crimes will be taken. Meanwhile, immigrants from Indonesia (many of whom are domestic helpers like the victims) are wondering about their own safety and are demonstrating outside the court with signs that read “Justice for Wanchai Murder Victim” and “Stop Violence”.
[Photo: Getty Images]