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Suspect to be tried in Lebanon

MANILA: Relatives of Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found inside a freezer in Kuwait, hold banners as they wait for the arrival of Joanna’s body from Manila at Iloilo International Airport in Iloilo province, central Philippines, on February 17, 2018. —AFP

KUWAIT: Detained Lebanese suspect Nader Assaf – who along with his Syrian wife Mona is accused of killing their Filipina maid and stuffing her body in a freezer before fleeing Kuwait – is going to be prosecuted in Lebanon. After he was arrested on Friday, Assaf told detectives that he had been hiding in Syria since he left Kuwait on Nov 7, 2016.

Kuwaiti security sources said if Assaf is proven guilty, a Kuwaiti court order has to be sent to Lebanese security via Interpol before a Lebanese judge decides whether to hand him over to Kuwait. A Lebanese judicial source said an extradition agreement has been signed between Kuwait and Lebanon, but noted it does not apply to Lebanese citizens who commit crimes on foreign soil and return home. The source also refuted rumors that Assaf confessed to putting the maid in the freezer while she was still alive. – Al-Rai

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