The West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts in Hong Kong. Photo: Google Maps

A 37-year-old woman accused of killing her 12-year-old daughter, then chopping up her body, appeared in court on Thursday and claimed she did not understand the allegations she faces.

Cao Yan was arrested on Sunday when police found her daughter’s body dismembered in a sub-divided flat in Mong Kok in Kowloon, Apple Daily reported.

Cao, who looked dull and had glassy eyes, first appeared at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts without a lawyer to represent her.

When told she was being charged with one count of murder, Cao shook her head several times and said with a puzzled tone “I don’t understand”, Sing Tao Daily reported.

Acting principal magistrate So Wai-tak asked her if she did not understand the allegation or Chinese. She shook her head again and said she did not understand the allegation.

The magistrate then asked patiently, “Do you know what is murder?”

Cao replied that she understood the meaning of murder, then looked at the public gallery several times and mumbled: “I don’t understand this whole incident, I’m unclear on this matter.”

No plea was entered on Wednesday and the case was adjourned until February 28.

Cao was remanded in custody. Earlier reports have suggested that the woman may have a substance abuse problem.

Read: Woman arrested for chopping up daughter, 12

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