MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A 20-year-old man was charged on Saturday with the murder of Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne amidst an outrage over violence against women in Australia’s second-largest city.
Maasarwe, 21, an international exchange student, was killed when walking home after a night out with friends in Melbourne earlier this week, with the police arresting the suspect on Friday.
The police would not name the suspect but local media identified him as an aspiring songwriter and rapper and a squatter. He appeared in court on Saturday and did not apply for bail. He has been remanded in custody to re-appear in court on Monday.
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.
Thousands of people gathered at vigils for Maasarwe on Friday and they continued to lay flowers at the site of her death. A special tram carrying only flowers late on Friday followed the route of Maasarwe’s final journey.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who visited by the site of the murder with his family, said on Twitter he was to meet with Maasarwe’s father who came to Melbourne.
“I cannot imagine his loss,” Morrison said.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Michael Perry)