Codey Herrmann faces court charged with rape and murder of Aiia Maasarwe
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Codey Herrmann faces court charged with rape and murder of Aiia Maasarwe

The man accused of killing 21-year-old international student Aiia Maasarwe has fronted court charged with her murder.

Codey Herrmann, 20, sat silent during the brief hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Saturday afternoon, dressed in a green T-shirt, following his arrest on Friday.

Codey Herrmann arrives at  Melbourne Magistrates Court on Saturday after being charged with the rape and murder of Aiia Maasarwe.

Codey Herrmann arrives at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Saturday after being charged with the rape and murder of Aiia Maasarwe.Credit:Paul Jeffers

The court heard the aspiring rapper had also been charged with rape. Particulars of the rape charge have not been released, with the court told some of the "specific words" aren't yet known to the family.

A mental health assessment was requested for Mr Herrmann. He made no bail application and was remanded to reappear on Monday.

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A court sketch of Codey Herrmann appearing before magistrate John Doherty on Saturday.

A court sketch of Codey Herrmann appearing before magistrate John Doherty on Saturday.Credit:Illustration: Joe Benke

When magistrate John Doherty asked Mr Herrmann if he knew what he had been charged with, he replied “yes”. “It’s alleged you murdered Aiia Maasarwe and it's alleged you raped that person,” Mr Doherty said.

Liaison officers had earlier tried to prevent Mr Herrmann from being brought up from the cells to the courtroom for the hearing, but Mr Doherty intervened and requested the accused appear.

When he entered the court, Mr Herrmann sat with his head bowed and avoided eye contact with those sitting in the mostly empty room.

On either side of him sat security officers, with no friends or family attending the hearing.

Mr Herrmann, a self-described rapper who went by the name MC Codez, was arrested by police at a park in Greensborough on Friday, two days after Ms Maasarwe was found near a Bundoora shopping centre.

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At the same time, homicide detectives and forensics police descended on a derelict, weatherboard house on Grimshaw Street, Bundoora.

Ms Maasarwe was on her way home from a gig at The Comics Lounge in North Melbourne and was speaking to her sister on her phone via FaceTime when she was allegedly attacked.

Ms Maasarwe's death has rocked Melbourne, where thousands have taken to the streets as well as social media to express outrage and grief over yet another unprovoked killing of a young woman who was simply going about her life.

Her father Saeed Maasarwe spoke at a vigil at Parliament House on Friday night, thanking the more than 1000 people who attended, while hundreds took part in an emotional journey on the 86 tram, filling it with flowers and tributes.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison met Mr Maasarwe on Saturday afternoon.

“The words will fail me I’m sure, as one father to another,” Mr Morrison said at an earlier press conference.

Accompanied by his wife and two daughters, Mr Morrison laid flowers on Saturday at the site where Aiia was found.

Aiia Maasarwe's father Saeed (centre) joined a vigil at Parliament House on Friday night for his daughter, attended by more than 1000 people.

Aiia Maasarwe's father Saeed (centre) joined a vigil at Parliament House on Friday night for his daughter, attended by more than 1000 people.Credit: Justin McManus

“I want to thank those other families and other Australians who have just been quietly passing by and paying their respects, and laying down flowers, leaving cards,” he said.

“I had the chance to read some those messages and talk to them. It was very quiet, and I think that the country is very shaken by it, but at the same time as always reaches out and seeks to comfort."

Tom Meagher, whose wife Jill Meagher was murdered in Brunswick six years ago, has taken to Twitter to pay his respects to Aiia and her family.

“I am so thoroughly sick to my stomach of men murdering women," Mr Meagher wrote. "The human cost of male violence is staggering, the incalculable social trauma & human misery it engenders is soul destroying. Its weight is intolerable.

A photo of Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe taken just hours before she died.

A photo of Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe taken just hours before she died.

“RIP Aiia & love to her family.”

Ms Meagher was raped and killed by Adrian Bayley while walking home from a night out in September 2012.

Mr Meagher has since been an active advocate for women’s rights and safety.

with AAP

Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.

Matilda reports breaking news for The Age

Joe Hinchliffe reports breaking news for The Age.

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