Borce Ristevski has been granted state-funded Legal Aid as he fights allegations he murdered his wife Karen.
The 54-year-old faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday accused of murdering Ms Ristevski, 47, on the morning she went missing from the couple's Avondale Heights home in June 2016.
Ms Ristevski, a fashion boutique owner, had been missing for eight months before her remains were spotted by a bushwalker at Macedon Regional Park in February 2017.
Her husband was charged with murder 10 months later in December, and has been in custody since.
Ristevski's lawyers are now poring over a 22,000-page brief of evidence as they look to defend the accused killer.
Up to 80 witnesses may be called at a future committal hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for Ristevski to stand trial.
The magistrate said several witnesses will speak about the "background and history" of the case.
Ristevski faced court by video link from prison.
He was one of the pallbearers at a private funeral service for his wife at Essendon's St John's Uniting Church.
The case was adjourned for another committal mention on May 16.
A tentative date of July 2 was set for a four-week committal hearing