Australia

Aya Maasarwe's family to learn details of student's death

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A 20-year-old man accused of murdering international student Aya Maasarwe in Melbourne has returned to court.

The family of the 21-year-old international student are yet to be told full details of the Melbourne attack that killed.

The family has contacted media organisations asking for the spelling of the name to be changed to Aya, instead of Aiia - which police had been using based on her passport information - to reflect their wish for her to be identified as Palestinian.

Ms Maasarwe, an Arab Palestinian woman with Israeli citizenship, was found dead in the northern suburb of Bundoora last Wednesday, not far from where she alighted the route 86 tram on her way home after a night at a city comedy club.

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Tribute paid to international student Aiia Maasarwe
Tribute paid to international student Aiia Maasarwe

Her alleged killer Codey Herrmann, 20, returned to Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday for his second appearance since being charged with rape and murder over the January 16 attack.

Dressed in a green t-shirt and black pants he said nothing at the brief hearing, during which prosecutors withdrew an application for a compulsory procedure, likely a DNA sample.

He stood with his hands in his pockets and head bowed as it was noted he made no application for bail.

Prosecutor Jonathan McCarthy requested that specific details of the attack on the Palestinian Arab of Israeli citizenship be withheld from the public until police have been able to give them to her family.

"The informant wishes to have that dealt with in a sensitive manner before it's given to the media," he said.

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt agreed.

"It would be very confronting for the family to be made aware of those specifics through media reports," he said.

Ms Maasarwe's father travelled to Melbourne last week, meeting with police and attending a vigil for his daughter.

Ruba Maasarwe, who was on a video call with her sister when she was attacked, is also in Melbourne but other members of her family remain in Israel.

They're hoping her body will be released by the Victorian coroner on Monday so she can be returned to her Baka al Gharbiyye home for a funeral.

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Silent vigil held for Aiia Maasarwe on Victorian Parliament steps
Silent vigil held for Aiia Maasarwe on Victorian Parliament steps

Herrmann's lawyer Guillaume Bailin did not make any submissions or note any custody management issues.

Mr Klestadt however noted Herrmann was Aboriginal and "may be vulnerable because of your age and appearance".

Herrmann, who has no fixed address, has not been in custody before.

Police have been granted 12 weeks to compile their brief of evidence.

Herrmann is due to reappear in court by video link for a committal mention on June 7.

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