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Suspect in killing of Demafelis interrogated in Lebanon

In this photo, taken Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, protesters picket the Senate at the start of the probe in the death of an overseas worker in Kuwait. President Rodrigo Duterte says a ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait, where Joanna Demafelis was found dead in a freezer, would continue and could be expanded to other countries where Filipino workers “suffer brutal treatment and human degradation.” (Photo by BULLIT MARQUEZ / AP)

BEIRUT — Lebanese security and judicial officials say authorities in Beirut are interrogating a man who is suspected in the death of a Joanna Demafelis, a Filipino maid whose body was found stuffed in a freezer in Kuwait.

A senior official with Lebanon’s General Security Directorate refused to provide details other than that the man is being held by the agency and undergoing questioning.

A judicial official said Saturday Lebanese citizen Nader Essam Assaf was handed over by Syrian authorities to Lebanon Friday. He added that the man’s Syrian wife is in Syria.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Assaf and his wife are suspects in the death of Demafelis.

On Friday, the Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the suspect was under arrest in Lebanon.

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