British double murderer appeals Hong Kong conviction

In this file picture taken on May 8, 2015, British banker Rurik Jutting (2nd L), accused of the murders of two Indonesian women, sits in a prison van as he arrives at the eastern court in Hong Kong. A British banker jailed for life for the horrifying 2014 murder of two Indonesian women at his upscale Hong Kong apartment in a cocaine-fueled rampage is to make an appeal bid on Dec. 12, 2017. (AFP/Anthony Wallace)
Updated 12 December 2017
0

British double murderer appeals Hong Kong conviction

HONG KONG: A British banker jailed for life for the horrifying murder of two Indonesian women at his upscale Hong Kong apartment in a cocaine-fueled rampage appealed against his conviction Tuesday.
Cambridge University graduate Rurik Jutting tortured Sumarti Ningsih for three days — filming parts of her ordeal on his phone — before slashing her throat with a serrated knife and stuffing her body into a suitcase.
Days later, and with Ningsih’s corpse on his balcony, the former Bank of America worker picked up Seneng Mujiasih, intending to play out the same fantasies. He killed her when she started screaming.
Jutting, now 32, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but was found guilty of murder in what the judge at the time described as killings that were “sickening in the extreme.”
However, Jutting’s defense team Tuesday argued that judge Michael Stuart-Moore had repeatedly given wrong directions to the jury during the trial last year when explaining how they should determine whether his state of mind had impaired his responsibility for his actions.
Defense lawyer Gerard McCoy argued the judge had wrongly told the jury to look for mental “disorders” rather than the broader spectrum of “abnormality of the mind.”
“Abnormality of mind need not be a disorder,” McCoy told the court Tuesday.
“The judge has wrongly and prescriptively directed the jury that they should look for disorders because disorders are what is an abnormality of mind,” he added.
The defense team during the trial had argued that Jutting’s mental responsibility had been substantially affected by heavy alcohol and cocaine use as well as sexual sadism and narcissistic personality disorders.
Not all four experts who testified agreed that Jutting’s behavior met the criteria for a “disorder” in all four areas, said McCoy.
However, they did all find that Jutting was suffering from an abnormality of mind because he had impaired mental functioning, he added.
Jutting was alert and taking notes in court Tuesday, dressed in a blue shirt and wearing dark-rimmed glasses, at one point smiling and talking with the guards in the dock.
In the gruelling 10-day trial last October and November, the jury heard how Jutting became obsessed with slavery, rape and torture — fantasies he acted out on his first victim, Ningsih.
The jury was forced to watch iPhone footage of parts of the attack as well as Jutting’s own self-recorded descriptions of how he had used pliers, sex toys and a belt during the killing.
He then went on to murder his second victim, Mujiasih, slashing her throat in his living room.
At the end of the trial, Stuart-Moore said Jutting had known what he was doing and described him as an “archetypal sexual predator” who presented an extreme danger to women.
The hearing continued Tuesday.


From ‘minga’ to ‘Maga’ — how the UN heard two world views

US President Donald Trump during a working luncheon hosted by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, front, at the United Nations in New York Tuesday. (AFP)
Updated 26 September 2018
0

From ‘minga’ to ‘Maga’ — how the UN heard two world views

  • Trump had his own ideas for solving those very same problems, but they owed little to the minga philosophy

NEW YORK: The president of the United Nations General Assembly, Maria Espinosa, introduced the concept of “minga” to the packed audience at the organization’s HQ on East 44th Street in New York; but an hour later President Donald Trump had reasserted his own view of the world, under the “Maga” banner.
Opening the first day of the UN general debate — the centerpiece of the organization’s annual get together — Espinosa, from Ecuador, explained that minga was a principle by which the people of the Andes lived their lives. Its main tenet was the principle of living and working together in harmony for the betterment of all — an idea sure to win approval at the UN.
With minga the world could solve the big issues it faces, from gender inequality through the environment down to peace and security.
Trump had his own ideas for solving those very same problems, but they owed little to the minga philosophy. Instead, he saw the world through the prism of “strong independent nations” which together would advance the state of mankind.
And, as he made clear, the US was the leader of this band of nation, so his oft-declared amibition of “making America great again” (Maga) would bring the rest of the world along with it to greatness.
“Inside everyone listening here today is the heart of a patriot, filled with the passion that inspired reform and revolutions, economic good, technological progress and works of art. Sovereign independent nations are the only vehicles where freedom, democracy and peace have been enhanced. So we have to protect them,” the president explained.
Not everyone in the audience agreed with Trump’s unilateral view of the world, nor with America’s perceived role in it.
Before he had taken the podium — in presidential dark grey suit, white shirt and long red tie — the two previous speakers had stressed the traditional UN values of collectivism and multilateralism, and received warm applause from the delegates for doing so.
Two South American leaders, President Michel Timer of Brazil and President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador, both talked about the challenges of multilateralism, and obliquely criticized the US over its long-running embargo of Cuba, as well as what they said was the role of American banks in dominating their economies, to the detriment of their people.
The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said that multilateralism was “under fire exactly when we need it the most, and, in contrast to Trump’s later comments about trade deficits, explained that what the world was really suffering from was a “trust deficit”, which could sink the international order in a bloody quagmire similar to the First World War.
President Trump made light of such dire warnings. In fact, he was adamant that the future was good, with a booming US economy, strong stock markets, full employment, tax reform and increased see spending on the US military.
“In the two years of my presidency, we have seen more progress that almost any other administration in the history of this country,” he said. The delegates murmured in response.