Lebanese Employer Could Face Death Penalty For Murder of Joanna Demafelis

The Lebanese employer of Filipina Joanna Demafelis is facing a possible death sentence as his trial opens Tuesday for a murder charge, Lebanese National News Agency reported.

Nader Essam Assaf, 40, allegedly confessed to the murder of Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found stuffed in a freezer in Kuwait in early February.

Assaf and his Syrian wife Mona Hassoun, who is still at large, are suspects in the killing of Demafelis, 29, whose body had stab wounds on her neck and injuries that suggested she was tortured.

Interpol operatives were involved in the suspect’s arrest in Syria last month before he was sent back to Lebanon.

Officials from Kuwait and the Philippines have been negotiating a new labor pact to ensure that Filipinos are properly protected. More than a quarter of a million Filipinos work in the small Gulf State.