Australian court remands man charged in Israeli student's killing until June

Codey Herrmann

Codey Herrmann

Maasarwe, 21, was found dead behind bushes next to the vehicle park of the Polaris shopping centre just off Main Drive in Bundoora on Wednesday morning.

Maasarwe, a 21-year-old student who had been studying at La Trobe University in Melbourne, was slain at 12:10 a.m. on Wednesday shortly after she got off a tram in the suburb of Bundoora, according to police. He appeared in an Australian court on Saturday charged with Maarsarwe's murder and rape.

Maasarwe's death recharged outrage over violence against women after 22-year-old Eurydice Dixon was killed in Melbourne while walking home after performing at a comedy show in June.

Police arrested a 20-year-old man this afternoon over the murder of Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

Hundreds of people dressed in black held several vigils in Melbourne for Maasarwe yesterday, including filling the 86 tram, which she was believed to have ridden on her way home, with red roses that were reportedly her favourite flowers.

During Sunday's march, campaigners held banners with the words, "I'm here for Aiia" and "Stop violence against women".

Ms Maasarwe's father, Saeed, told mourners that a memorial would ensure his daughter's "light" was not dimmed.

Codey Herrmann, 20, didn't say anything in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, his second appearance since being charged with rape and murder over the January 16 attack.

In reaction to Ms Maasarwe's death, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government would announce another "action plan" to stem violence against women ahead of an election expected by May, on top of A$350 million (S$341 million) that has already been committed.

"It would be very confronting for the family to be made aware of those specifics through media reports", he said. He was not required to enter pleas.

The court heard it is Herrmann's first time in custody, with Magistrate Klestadht noting he "may be vulnerable because of [his] age and appearance". A murder conviction carries a potential maximum penalty of life imprisonment and rape carries a potential maximum of 25 years.

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