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murder charge Man whose wife vanished from luxury Med cruise liner to face trial in September

Xing Li vanished without a trace during the Mediterranean cruise, and Mr Belling has always denied any involvement in her disappearance.

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Daniel Belling will be tried for the murder of his wife (right) by an Italian court in September

Daniel Belling will be tried for the murder of his wife (right) by an Italian court in September

Daniel Belling will be tried for the murder of his wife (right) by an Italian court in September

A man accused of the murder of his wife during a luxury cruise is to be tried by an Italian court in September. 

Dublin-based German man Daniel Belling lived in the city’s Northside with his wife, Chinese national Xing Li, and their children, before she disappeared while the family was on a cruise in 2017.

During the preliminary hearing, Belling's lawyers, Laura Camomilla and Luigi Conti, reiterated their defence, arguing that there is no motive for the murder. Repeating that he had no involvement, they said: “The motive is also missing”.

“The Gup (preliminary hearing judge) has decided to order the trial that will begin on September 30th before the Court of Assizes.

"But we cannot yet speak of circumstantial certainty that it can become a 'trial' against Belling,” said his defence, according to Italian media.

During the investigations “Belling's absolute extraneousness to the murder hypothesis emerged. We cannot speak of a 'perfect crime' at all”, reiterated his lawyers.

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The MSC Magnifica cruise ship

The MSC Magnifica cruise ship

The MSC Magnifica cruise ship

However the judge ordered that his trial for murder and body concealment go ahead on September 30.

Xing Li vanished without a trace during the Mediterranean cruise, and Mr Belling has always denied any involvement in her disappearance.

Xing Li and Mr Belling and their two children boarded the cruise ship MSC Magnifica in the Italian port of Civitavecchia on February 9. It subsequently called at Genoa and ports in Malta, Greece and Cyprus. Crew members noticed she was missing when they did a head count at the end of the cruise.

Belling is currently living in Germany, but his lawyers have requested that he is allowed to travel to Italy should the legal proceedings go ahead.

The family lived in Clare Hall in Dublin, where Belling worked in IT and his wife ran a wedding business.

He was arrested while attempting to board a flight from Rome to Dublin with his children at the end of the cruise. He was held in custody until being released in April 2018.

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Xing Li was last seen in 2017

Xing Li was last seen in 2017

Xing Li was last seen in 2017

He has previously claimed that his wife left the ship of her own accord in Greece, and that he believes she has returned to China.

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