Syrian employer found guilty of Joanna Demafelis murder

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Syrian employer found guilty of Joanna Demafelis murder
Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis was found frozen inside her employer's house in Kuwait in February 2018.
AFP, file

MANILA, Philippines — One of the employers of slain Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis was found guilty of murder, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

According to the DFA, the Syrian District Criminal Court found Syrian national Mouna Ali Hassoun guilty of killing Demafelis.

"DFA will continue to provide legal assistance to the family until justice is served," the DFA said.

Hassoun is the wife of Lebanese Nader Essam Assaf, who is also charged with murder in Lebanon. The DFA has yet to provide an update on the case of Assaf.

Both Assaf and Hassoun have been sentenced to death by hanging by the Kuwaiti Criminal Court last year. Assaf, being a Lebanese citizen, was turned over to Beirut while his wife Hassoun remained in Damascus.

In February 2018, the body of Demafelis was found inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.

The discovery of the slain Filipina in Kuwait pushed President Rodrigo Duterte to order a deployment ban for Filipinos planning to work in the Gulf state.

The Philippines and Kuwait signed a memorandum of understanding on the employment of domestic workers in May last year following the incident.

RELATED: Philippines mulls review of MOU with Kuwait after Filipina's death

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 28, 2020 - 1:01pm

The Bureau of Immigration clarifies that overseas Filipino workers returning to their jobs in Kuwait are unaffected by the government's deployment ban.

January 28, 2020 - 1:01pm

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello says the employers of slain Filipina worker Jeanelyn Villavende in Kuwait have been formally charged with murder.

Villavende was killed in Kuwait, barely six months after she flew to the Gulf nation. She was raped and beaten repeatedly during her stay.  

January 15, 2020 - 3:33pm

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello says the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has signed a resolution for total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait.

The move came as tensions soared following the release of autopsy results from the National Bureau of Investigation which revealed that Jeanelyn Villavende was not only physically beaten but was also sexually abused. 

January 3, 2020 - 4:02pm

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has imposed a ban on the deployment of newly-hired Filipino workers to Kuwait. 

The move came following the death of another Filipina worker in the Middle Eastern country. — via Sheila Crisostomo, The STAR

September 9, 2019 - 2:06pm

One of the employers of slain overseas Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis was found guilty of murder, the Department of Foreign Affairs says. Authorities discovered her dead body in a freezer in Kuwait last year.

"The DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs reports that the Syrian District Criminal Court found Mouna Ali Hassoun, accused in the Joana Demafelis case, guilty of murder," the department’s statement read.

President Rodrigo Duterte cited her case as among the reason for banning the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait for a time.

May 16, 2018 - 8:59pm

Upon recommendation of Special Envoy to Kuwait Abdullah Mama-o, President Duterte has instructed Labor Secretary Bello to totally lift the ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says — via Christina Mendez, The STAR

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