Hus­band held as wife van­ishes

Saturday Star - - NEWS -

ROME: A Ger­man man jailed in Italy af­ter his wife dis­ap­peared dur­ing a Mediter­ranean cruise may face mur­der charges.

His lawyer, Luigi Conti, dis­missed me­dia re­ports that in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve the man mur­dered his Chi­nese wife, then stuffed her into a suit­case and tossed her over­board as “jour­nal­is­tic hy­poth­e­sis­ing”.

The sus­pect, who has not been named, was jailed in Rome in Fe­bru­ary as he at­tempted to leave the coun­try with the cou­ple’s two small chil­dren for Ire­land, where they live.

The hus­band has claimed his wife walked off the MSC Mag­nifica ship in Greece, hav­ing grown bored with the cruise, and that he was not alarmed be­cause she had be­haved sim­i­larly in the past.

Asked why his client had not re­ported his wife miss­ing, Conti replied: “He didn’t have time – he would have if he hadn’t found her at home in Ire­land. We want au­thor­i­ties to look for a miss­ing per­son, not just a body.” There had been no sign

the woman since the of 10-day cruise ended at Italy’s Civ­i­tavec­chia port city, he said.

The chil­dren are in the care of so­cial ser­vices in Rome, and “ef­forts are on­go­ing to lo­cate rel­a­tives that could take them”. They might be en­trusted to the sus­pect’s sis­ter.

The lawyer con­fir med that the sus­pect’s mother-in­law had vis­ited him in prison and that she had given him 70 (R942), the daily max­i­mum al­lowed to de­tainees.

He was due to ap­pear be­fore a pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions judge yes­ter­day. – dpa

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