Zeina Kanjou’s husband is the main suspect in the murder of the popular fashion model, an Internal Security Forces source told Al Arabiya English.
“Forensic expert’s findings confirm that the deceased was suffocated to death. The husband is the primary suspect as he remains at large, but hasn’t been accused officially pending further investigations,” the senior ISF officer source said. “The case will be referred to the prosecution office of the crime’s jurisdiction once the investigation concludes.”
News about Kanjou’s death at the hands of her husband on January 30 at his flat in Ain Al Mraiseh spread quickly across social media, with claims that domestic violence was at the incident’s core.
The father of the murdered model branded his son-in-law a ‘terrorist’ after claims he smothered her to death, and fled to Turkey.
Father seeking justice
Speaking to Al Arabiya English from his house in Akkar in the north of the country, Kanjou’s father, Mohammad Kanjou said he trusts Lebanon’s law enforcement bodies that have launched an investigation into his daughter’s death.
“The Internal Security Forces [Lebanese police] called me, and asked me to go and collect my daughter’s corpse. We did so and buried her on Monday. We will keep accepting condolences until the authorities unveil the truth behind my daughter’s killing and expose it to the public,” Mohammad said.
Prior to her killing she had lodged a domestic violence complaint against I.G. accusing him of brutality and violence, Mohammad claimed. The ISF source confirmed this.
Having represented Lebanon in the Miss Elegant International 2020 in Egypt, Zeina Kanjou married six months ago. She left her married home shortly after the wedding because of domestic violence, Lebanese media reported.
According to activists and recent media reports, domestic violence has increased across the MENA region, and amid Lebanon’s strictest COVID-19 lockdown the country is particularly prone to violence against women.
The father claimed that I.G. admitted to the murder over a phone call with his other daughter, Rouba.
Some media reports said the husband was the one who had reported his wife’s death to the authorities without being apprehended, while his whereabouts were not known.
Killer checked in on runaway plane 5.30am.
Kanjou’s lawyer, Ashraf Moussawi confirmed to Al Arabiya English that her husband purchased an online ticket on MEA [Beirut-Istanbul-Beirut] arriving on January 28th.
Moussawi claimed the husband came to Beirut for the purpose of killing his client and flew out immediately after the murder.
“Investigations conclude today or tomorrow, and then the murder case file will be referred to the Attorney General’s office that will issue an arrest warrant,” he said. “I will pursue the repatriation request in cooperation with the Interpol and concerned authorities in Turkey,” Moussawi told Al Arabiya English.
ISF had not responded for comment at the time of publication.