A man has admitted responsibility for the killing of London primary schoolteacher Sabina Nessa.
The 28-year-old was found dead in a park in the southeast of the capital on 18 September after leaving a local bar. Her body was found the next day by a passer-by, hidden under a pile of leaves.
On Thursday, a 36-year-old suspect — speaking through an Albanian interpreter — admitted responsibility for her death but formally pleaded not guilty to murder.
Lawyers for Koci Selamaj told the court that the 36-year-old “accepts he killed her”.
Selamaj was arrested on 26 September on suspicion of murder and will now face trial at the Old Bailey in London.
According to prosecutors, Selamaj had travelled from his home town of Eastbourne to London to carry out a “premeditated and predatory” attack.
A further hearing on the case is scheduled for 25 February, before the trial, which could last up to five weeks, begins on 7 June.
The killing of Sabina Nessa has fueled fresh debate about the safety of women in public spaces in the UK. Hundreds of people gathered in London in September for a vigil in the teacher’s honour.
Nessa’s death came just months after the murder of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old London woman who was kidnapped, raped and killed by a serving police officer.