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Mother of slain student wins case against her roommate

Jiang Qiulian answers questions from journalists after the verdict in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Monday. (HE YI / FOR CHINA DAILY)

The mother of a Chinese student killed in Japan in 2016 was awarded more than 696,000 yuan ($109,200) in a lawsuit against her daughter's former roommate on Monday after a court ruled the defendant played a role in the young woman's death.

The compensation included 496,000 yuan for Jiang Qiulian's financial losses and 200,000 yuan for her mental anguish over the death of her daughter, Jiang Ge. It also covered some lawsuit-related expenses, according to the ruling by the Chengyang District People's Court in Qingdao, Shandong province.

Liu Nuanxi, the roommate, was ordered to pay Jiang Qiulian within 10 days if neither party appeals to a higher court.

The case dates back to Nov 3,2016, when Jiang Ge, 24, was stabbed to death in the hallway outside her apartment in Tokyo by Chen Shifeng, Liu's ex-boyfriend. Liu had moved in with Jiang Ge, a friend who was also from Shandong, after breaking up with Chen.

Earlier on the day of the stabbing, Liu had quarreled with Chen. Armed with a knife, he later hid in the apartment building and waited for the women to return from an evening out.

When they returned, he confronted them. The three began arguing, and Chen chased the women to their apartment.

Liu entered first and locked the door behind her, leaving Jiang Ge outside. Chen stabbed Jiang Ge in the neck a dozen times before fleeing the scene.

Jiang died after arriving at a nearby hospital.

In 2017, a Tokyo court found Chen guilty of killing Jiang Ge and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. Jiang Qiulian was dissatisfied with the result, saying that Chen should have received the death penalty.

She also said that Liu shared some of the blame for her daughter's death because she had locked Jiang Ge out of the apartment when she was attacked. She was also upset about some improper posts Liu had made about her daughter on the Sina Weibo micro-blogging platform.

Jiang Qiulian filed the lawsuit in 2019, seeking more than 2 million yuan in compensation for her financial losses and mental anguish.

The court said on Monday that Liu was obviously at fault in the incident and should bear the civil penalty as she had not informed Jiang Ge of the potential danger posed by Chen, who had intimidated her before the killing, nor had she taken Jiang Ge's safety into account when she locked her outside the apartment.

It supported Jiang Qiulian, who said she suffered mental anguish after losing her only daughter, and added that people who bring danger around them have an obligation to take necessary measures to prevent others from being harmed.

"Jiang Ge deserves praise and the compensation, as she offered emergency aid to Liu," the court said. "But Liu, as Jiang Ge's friend and the one who received the aid, did not express gratitude and comfort to the relatives of the deceased, but instead aggravated the pain of the mother with improper online posts, which should be condemned."

A number of people, including national lawmakers and political advisers, attended the announcement of the verdict.

caoyin@chinadaily.com.cn