Lao Rongqi, 46, appeared before the Intermediate People’s Court in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, on Monday, according to a statement posted by the court on its official Weibo account on social media.
The state-run Beijing Youth Daily reported that Lao “expressed apology” to the families of the victims and claimed that she was a “victim” who was forced to help her convicted murderer friend Fa Zhiying out of fear.
Fa was arrested in July 1999. He was convicted of seven murders and executed in December of that year, state media reported.
“The two conspired and had a clear division of labor,” the Nanchang court statement claimed. Together, they committed robbery, kidnapping, and premeditated murder in Nanchang, Wenzhou, Zhangzhou and Hefei.
Lau told the court that Fa’s methods were “extremely harsh” and that during her relationship with him she suffered physical and psychological abuse and miscarriages, according to the Beijing Youth Daily.
Lao Wafa was in an affair between 1996 and 1999, according to the Nanchang Intermediate People’s Court statement.
After Fa was arrested, Lau used multiple aliases to flee across the country. She traveled to different cities, and made a living by doing part-time jobs in bars and other entertainment venues, according to a statement issued by the Xiamen Municipal Public Security Bureau last year.
She also underwent surgery to alter her appearance to avoid arrest, according to state-run CCTV radio.
Lau was arrested in November last year in a shopping mall in the southeastern city of Xiamen, and charged with murder, robbery and kidnapping, according to Chinese authorities.
On Monday, Lau told the court that she had been “living in darkness” for the past two decades. She added that she could “sleep quietly at last” and no longer live in fear of being arrested by the police, according to the Beijing Youth Daily.
The Beijing Youth Daily reported that Zhou Dahong, wife of one of Lao’s victims, said it was “difficult to accept such an apology.”
“The pain we have suffered in the past two decades cannot be ignored with an apology,” Chu said.