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Prosecution rejects banker's lack of control in HK double murder trial

HONG KONG 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 Jutting's defence that he had lost control due to drugs and sexual disorders.

Prosecutor John Reading cross examined defence witness Dr Richard Latham, a British psychiatrist, stating "even when he was at his most aggressive, even when he was torturing her, 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 recognised 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 behaviour.

The trial, which is in its second week, has attracted large international scrutiny due to the brutality of the killings in a city where crime is relatively low.

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.

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.

Latham on Tuesday acknowledged that Jutting was in control in parts leading up to the killings but emphasised 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 behaviour," he said.

The defence 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 defence 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, British psychiatrist Latham had testified on Monday.

In the trial's first week the prosecution team stunned the courtroom, which has been packed with media from Britain and Hong Kong, with graphic and shocking footage highlighting Jutting's extreme cocaine use.

Jutting's alcohol abuse disorders started from 2011 as well as a strong preference for sexual violence, torture, rape and slavery, said Latham.

The defence and prosecution were largely in agreement over the physical evidence, but the dispute may lie in psychiatric and psychological evidence provided by the defence 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.

Dressed in a navy blue shirt, Jutting appeared clean shaven and focused intently during the cross examination, leaning forward in his sectioned off area where he was flanked by 3 policemen.

Jutting, a former vice president and head of Structured Equity Finance & Trading (Asia) at Bank of America, had expressed “job depression" in his series of filmed monologues that he termed the "narcissistic ramblings of Rurik Jutting."

(Reporting by Farah Master, Editing by Greg Torode and Michael Perry)

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