20-year-old Australian charged with rape, murder of Palestinian student

20-year-old Australian charged with rape and murder of Palestinian student
2 min read
19 January, 2019
Codey Herrmann, aged 20, was arrested by Victoria police in the outer suburbs of Melbourne on Friday for raping and killing the Palestinian student.

Hundreds attended a vigil for the slain 21-year-old student. [Getty]
A man in Australia was charged with the rape and murder of Palestinian student Aiia Maasarwe, some three days after her body was found in Melbourne.

Codey Herrmann, aged 20, was arrested by Victoria police in the outer suburbs of Melbourne on Friday.

He attacked the 21-year-old as she was was speaking to her sister on the phone at midnight on Wednesday, on the way home from a comedy show.

Her body was found in bushes near a tram stop by passers-by several hours later, in what authorities have described as an "absolutely horrendous, horrific attack.”

He appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Saturday to face charges of rape and murder, and was remanded in custody pending a reappearance in court on Monday.

Maasarwe was killed after getting off a tram near the university where she was completing a year-long exchange.

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

Her father Saeed broke down at the crime scene, where dozens of flowers and messages from the public were left nearby in support.

"I feel very, very sad from one side, but from another side, when I get this support and this help - from the people, from the community, from the police-- it makes the suffering to feel a little more better," he told reporters.

"I want to be with her for more time, but someone decided I cannot be."

Agencies contributed to this report.

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