This week, the Dublin-based German man accused of killing his wife during their family cruise last year has been released from Italian prison. Daniel Belling has been imprisoned for the past 14 months, on suspicion of murder. The couple and their two young children were aboard the MSC Magnifica, on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise last year, when Belling’s wife, Xian Lei Li disappeared.
Belling did not report the disappearance and was arrested while attempting to board a plane back to Dublin at the end of the trip. Since then, he had been held without bail in Rome’s Regina Coeli jail. According to reports, the release came after Belling’s lawyer made a passionate plea to Rome’s Tribunal of Re-examination, citing the fact that there is no evidence against Belling and that the body has not been found as major reasons to release him from prison.
Bellings attorney also noted, “The forensic examination of the cabin was not completed properly as the ship had to sail on another cruise…so as far as we are concerned it’s impossible to establish the truth.” Although the case against him will continue, for now, at least, he can begin to resume a more normal life back home.
Cruise Crime Should Be Taken Seriously
In the wake of this release, we are struck at the comment by Belling’s lawyer, regarding the fact that the cabin was not properly examined before being assigned to a new passenger. This is one of the greatest tragedies of cruise ship crime, that often the necessary forensic information is lost or unable to be captured, due to the cruise operator’s lack of commitment to the case.
Allowing the authorities to complete a proper investigation is key to ensuring justice. However, due to the lack of attention to detail here, we may never know what really happened to this missing mother of two, and whether or not her husband is to blame.
This case is an excellent reminder of how challenging it can be to pursue legal action for an event that has taken place at sea. Despite the fact that crimes should be reported and given the necessary time for investigation, as we can see, there are countless factors that can interfere with this process. That is why, especially if a crime has happened to you, it is paramount that you take the time to record the evidence yourself so that you will be prepared to help your legal team create a strong case in your favor.
We Are Ready to Take Your Case
At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina and Winkleman, P.A., we know the challenges that you face when preparing to take on a cruise line for a crime that occurred at sea. Especially in the event of a missing person, wading through the red tape can be overwhelming. Fortunately, our team is prepared to fight for you at each step of the process, so that you can achieve the results you need and the resolution you deserve.
So if you or a loved one have been injured at sea and are seeking advice you can trust, speaking with a maritime lawyer can help. Simply contact us today to get started.