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2月24日のまにら新聞から

Suspect in killing of Filipina in Kuwait now in custody in Lebanon: DFA

[ 271 words|2018.2.24|英字 (English) ]

A suspect in the killing of overseas Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis in Kuwait more than a year ago is in the hands of Lebanese authorities, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said he has informed President Rodrigo Duterte about the arrest of Nader Essam Assaf, a Lebanese national.

Assaf and his wife, Mona, a Syrian national, are the main suspects in the murder of the 29-year-old domestic helper from Sara, Iloilo whose body was found in a freezer in the couple's apartment. The Syrian woman remains at large.

“The president welcomes the news that Nader Essam Assaf is now in the hands of authorities in Lebanon,” Cayetano said in a statement. “Assaf’s arrest is a critical first step in our quest for justice for Joanna and we are thankful to our friends in Kuwait and Lebanon for their assistance.”

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait reported the arrest of Assaf to Manila on Thursday when Duterte visited the wake of Demafelis in Iloilo.

Assaf and his wife have been pursued by Interpol after Kuwaiti authorities discovered early this month the battered body of Demafelis inside a freezer in the couple’s abandoned apartment unit.

Cayetano said Kuwaiti authorities conveyed the arrest of Assaf to Ambassador Renato Villa during a meeting at the Ministry of Interior on Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al-Tarah, Assistant Undersecretary for General Security Affairs, told Villa Interpol Lebanon had notified Interpol Kuwait Assaf is in their custody but his wife is believed to be in Syria.

Cayetano said he expects Kuwaiti authorities to request extradition of Assaf from Lebanon to stand trial. DMS