News National Man arrested over death of international student Aiia Maasarwe
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Man arrested over death of international student Aiia Maasarwe

Aiia Maarsarwe
Arab-Israeli exchange student Aiia Maarsawe has been remembered as kind, fun, and with a zest for life. Photo: Instagram
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Melbourne police have arrested a man as part of the investigation into the death of international student Aiia Maasarwe.

The 20-year-old male was taken into custody in the northern suburb of Greensborough about 11.20am by local police working in partnership with homicide detectives.

Fairfax Media has identified the man as Codey Herrmann, an aspiring rapper and former Bundoora College student who went by the moniker “MC Codez”.

He is yet to be charged with any offences.

Friends who spoke to Fairfax Media described Mr Herrmann as a troubled teenager brought up in foster homes who was couch surfing at the time of Ms Maasarwe’s death.

Codey Herrmann, 21, was arrested by police in relation to Aiia Maasarwe’s murder. Image: Facebook

The arrest follows an extensive investigation into Ms Maasarwe’s death after her body was found in Bundoora on Wednesday about 7am.

Footage from a route 86 Melbourne tram ridden by the 21-year-old Arab-Israeli was handed to police in the hunt for her alleged killer.

After six months of studying in Melbourne at Latrobe University, Ms Maasarwe died after a night out at a comedy club in the city on Tuesday.

She was speaking to her sister by phone when she was allegedly attacked.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described Ms Maasarwe’s murder as ‘the most despicable of crimes”, saying it “sickened” him.

Hours before the arrest, Senator Derryn Hinch was refusing to back down from controversial comments he made about Ms Maarsarwe’s death.

The journalist turned senator remained defiant in the face of widespread outrage and calls to delete a tweet which was condemned by his followers as “hurtful” and ‘”grim” and slammed by Labor leader Bill Shorten.

On Friday Senator Hinch claimed his motive for offering details of the alleged attack were “totally misconstrued”.

The “stark details” he made public on Thursday “were included to warn women in the area what this monster, still on the loose, is capable of,” Senator Hinch wrote.

An hour after news of the arrest broke on Friday afternoon, Senator Hinch’s comments were still online.

The New Daily has chosen not to publish the graphic contents his original tweet.

Senator Hinch’s justification for discussing details of the case, which he claimed to have obtained from “police contacts”, sparked social media call for him to apologise.

His comments were called “gutter journalism” and “utterly inappropriate” by his followers.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said it was not appropriate that Senator Hinch revealed information that police had chosen not to release regarding the alleged murder.

“People who are in positions of power and influence shouldn’t put out information automatically when the police have got a different strategy to catch and convict the wrongdoers,” he said.

On Thursday, Senator Hinch first defended himself against backlash over the tweet from “do-gooder Tweeters” attacking him “for telling the gruesome truth.”

He insisted he wrote the controversial tweet in memory of previous Melbourne murder victims Jill Meagher and Eurydice Dixon.

Speaking in Fiji, Mr Morrison was “shocked” and “speechless” about the death.

“Every woman in Australia, every person in Australia, should be able to travel home safely,” the Prime Minister said.

“I can’t begin to think what I could say to her family. I know what I’m thinking about her attacker.”

Public Transport Victoria chief executive Jeroen Weimar on Friday said CCTV files from the route 86 tram that Ms Maarsarwe caught home was handed to police.

“What’s on that footage and what other images they’ve obtained I can’t comment on,” Mr Weimar told 3AW.

“But I can confirm CCTV files and images have been provided from the tram and from other trams that Vic Police are working off.”

Police released photos of a black baseball cap and grey t-shirt found at the scene and believed to belong to her alleged attacker.

A silent vigil will be held on the steps of Victoria’s parliament on Friday evening with attendees asked to wear black.

“She was out meeting friends, exploring the city, taking in shows. She should’ve been able to do that safely,” event organiser Karen Pickering told AAP.

A route 86 tram leaving parliament at 8.01pm is planned to be filled with flowers in tribute to the young woman.

Ms Maasarwe’s uncle Abed Kittani described her as a talented student.

“Instead of coming home with a diploma, she is coming home in a coffin,” he told ABC TV.