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Lebanese suspect charged with murdering Filipina maid in Kuwait

News of the murder sparked outrage in the Philippines. [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 March, 2018

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News of the murder of the woman sparked outrage in the Philippines, and shed further light on the conditions of Filipina domestic workers in the Gulf state.

A Lebanese man has been charged with murdering a Filipina maid whose body was found stuffed in a freezer in Kuwait.

A prosecutor in south Lebanon charged 40-year-old Nader Essam Assaf, National News Agency reported, with Assaf confessing to the crime.

The news agency said Assaf faces a possible death sentence and is expected to go on trial soon.

Joanna Demafelis' body was discovered on 6 February in Kuwait City, where it had been kept for more than a year. 

She was reportedly employed as a maid by Assaf and his wife.

Last month, the Philippines' foreign secretary said the suspect was under arrest in Lebanon.

News of the story sparked outrage in the Philippines and shed further light on the conditions of Filipina maids and other foreign workers in the Gulf states and elsewhere.

The murder led to an angry response from Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte who imposed a departure ban on Filipinas travelling to Kuwait.

Kuwait has been eager to end the rift and has invited Philippines government officials for talks on employment reforms for Filipina workers.

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