Former British banker Rurik Jutting, charged with the double murder of two Indonesian women found in his luxury Hong Kong apartment two years ago, pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of "diminished responsibility" as the trial began on Monday.
Jutting, who studied at Cambridge University and Winchester College, one of Britain's most famous and oldest private schools, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter on Monday, and to a third charge of preventing lawful burial of a body.
Jutting who previously worked at Bank of America Corp in Hong Kong, was accused in October 2014 after police found the bodies of two women, one inside a suitcase on his balcony and the other lying inside the high-rise apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, authorities said.
Looking trim and dressed in a dark blue shirt, Jutting was clean shaven with short cut hair, in stark contrast to his initial court appearances when he looked heavily overweight and sported a thick dark beard.
Before the jury selection, Jutting's barrister Tim Owen explained the argument for diminished responsibility was based on the grounds of a personality disorder.
Deputy High Court Judge Stuart-Moore said "there isn't a disease here, it is a personality disorder."
Prosecutor John Reading stated that psychopathic behavior was not a reason for diminished responsibility, setting up the arguments both parties will make during the trial.
Bank of America has previously said Jutting was an employee but it has not said why he left or given any timeframe.
Jutting was found fit to plea after undergoing psychiatric assessment at the end of 2014 after being charged for the double murder.
The case is being closely watched by the 300,000-strong migrant domestic helpers community in Hong Kong. Outside the High Court, about a dozen of their representatives held placards reading “Justice for Wanchai Murder Victim” and “Stop Violence”. REUTERS