Man charged with London teacher’s murder to plead not guilty

International

FILE – In this Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 file photo, people line up to place candles during a vigil for murdered 28-year-old teacher Sabina Nessa in Kidbrooke in south-east London. British police charged a 36-year-old man on Monday Sept. 27, 2021, with the murder of Sabina Nessa, a primary school teacher killed as she walked to meet a friend in London. (AP Photo/David Cliff, File)

LONDON (AP) — A man charged with the murder of a 28-year-old school teacher in London plans to plead not guilty, a defense lawyer said Tuesday.

Delivery driver Koci Selamaj, 36, is accused of killing Sabina Nessa, who disappeared while walking to meet a friend at a pub a few minutes from her home in southeast London on Sept. 17. Nessa’s body was found in a local park the next day.

Her killing has renewed concerns that women aren’t safe on the streets of Britain’s capital. Selamaj, from Eastbourne in southern England, was arrested in the seaside town on Sunday.

Selamaj made his first court appearance Tuesday at Willesden Magistrates’ Court in London. His lawyer, Aiden Harvey, told the court his client intended to plead not guilty. The court remanded Selamaj into custody. He is scheduled to appear again Thursday for a bail hearing at the Central Criminal Court.

Nessa’s death came six months after the abduction, rape and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in south London by a serving police officer. The Everard case sparked large protests to denounce violence against women and girls.

On Friday, hundreds of people held a candlelight vigil in Nessa’s memory, demanding an end to violence against women.

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