PH, Lebanon officials tackle Demafelis murder case

MANILA The Philippine Embassy in Beirut will meet with Lebanese authorities handling the case of Nader Essam Assaf, primary suspect in murder of Filipina domestic worker Joanna Demafelis, to see how they would want to proceed, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.

DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said that should they decide to hold the trials in Beirut, the Philippine government is ready to provide lawyers to assist.

She said that the meeting is scheduled on Tuesday.

The murder of Demafelis, whose dead body was discovered inside a freezer in the abandoned apartment of Assaf and his Syrian wife, sparked outrage in the country and eventually led to the total deployment ban of new Filipino workers to Kuwait.

The DFA on Monday confirmed that the two suspects were sentenced to death by a Kuwaiti court.

While no additional details were provided, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait managed to obtain a copy of the court order. It is now waiting for a formal notification from local authorities.

Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa said Kuwaiti authorities have requested the extradition of Demafelis' Lebanese employer but noted there is a possibility that Lebanon may decide against the turnover and try the case in Beirut instead.

Source: Philippine News Agency