Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Echoes of Pancho Campo MW

Logroño, the capital of Rioja, inevitably brings echoes of the 2009 WineFuture seminar held here in early November 2009 organised by Pancho Campo. It reminds me that although I directed a number of questions to Pancho and his lawyers back in the latter part of July when Campo's name was removed from the Interpol wanted list. I have been seeking clarification of this annoucement - an example from the Indian Wine Academy site here:

'The message received late last night, ‘it gives me great pleasure to inform you that Interpol has accepted our request to take Pancho from their Red Notice list. We have managed to prove that Pancho´s case was not handled well, the accusations were wrong and he should have never been listed in Interpol’s website. He is now a free and innocent man,’ does not need any further explanation.' 23rd July 2010.

Questions sent to Pancho Campo and the Spanish Wine Academy:

21st July 2010
'Does this mean that your conviction and sentence in Dubai from June 2003 has been quashed or set aside? I'd be very grateful if you could clarify this for me please? '

22nd July 2010, resent 29th July 2010
A) Why did Interpol remove Pancho Campo MW's name from the Interpol wanted list? What evidence was provided that persuaded the authorities that his name should be removed.

B) What is current status of Campo's conviction in Dubai on 1st June 2003 for breach of trust/fraud and sentence to a year in prison. Has this conviction been quashed or set aside or does it still stand?

C) Are there any further legal cases involving Pancho Campo MW in the United Arab Emirates?

29th July 2010: to Paulina Campo-Bacque: Executive Director of Spanish Wine Academy
Unfortunately I have not had a response to the questions (see below) I sent
you on 22nd July asking for them to be forwarded to the Butler lawyer (James Butler is Campo's father-in-law and it was his lawyer I was told on 22.7.10 would handle all questions relating to this case).

I have subsequently been in contact with Interpol in France who cast doubt on Pancho Campo's claim that Interpol had accepted his request for the Red Notice to be removed from their site.

Their explanation (below) of how the Red Notices work appears to be at variance with Pancho Campo's claim that Interpol accepted his request to be removed from the Interpol site.

'As there is no Red Notice published on the INTERPOL website for this person, this means that either the Notice is restricted to law enforcement access only, or the country which requested the issue of a Red Notice has cancelled this request.

A Red Notice is issued by the INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyon, France at the request of a member country on the basis of a valid national arrest warrant.'

I would be grateful if the Butler lawyer would comment on this.

It would appear likely that the request to remove Pancho Campo's name came from the United Arab Emirates. Was this as a result of a deal concluded with Jackie Wartanian? And, if so, what were the terms of this deal?

I would be very grateful if you would pass these further questions onto the Butler lawyer.


To date I have had absolutely no response to these questions, which is surprising as Pancho Campo promised earlier this year that I would be the first to know when he was cleared and he would give me the full story. Furthermore if Campo is correct and Interpol did remove his name at his request and admitted the mistake one would imagine that he would be keen to provide further information to bolster his claim.

My final email to Campo-Bacque did, however, appear to trigger an intriguing and unexpected response: the pressure group Detained in Dubai sent a near hysterical email (30th July) to one of the wine magazines I contribute on the entirely erroneous belief that I had been asked to write a follow up story on Interpol's response. The email warned that 'our legal team in the United Kingdom are presently exploring whether to pursue legal action for damages against Jim Budd for his unprofessional conduct (harassment and defamation). We thought it appropriate to inform you of possible impending litigious action.'
I have no idea whether 'Detained in Dubai' acted entirely independently here or whether the email was sent at the request of someone associated with the Spanish Wine Academy. In September 2009 American wine and food journalist was threatened with legal action by one of Campo's lawyers for looking into the Interpol red notice.

To date I have heard nothing from 'Detained in Dubai' and certainly not as much as a bat's squeak from them about 'imminent legal action'.

I have to say that the continuing silence from Doctor Campo and his legal team suggests to me that Interpol's explanation is correct and that rather than Interpol 'accepting' Campo's request some sort of deal was concluded in Dubai, possibly involving Jackie Wartanian, Campo's previous business partner, which led to Campo's name being removed from Interpol's wanted list.


Anonymous said...

Asking questions (and waiting for answers) can hardly be qualified as defamation.
If I remember well, Mr Campo said he was open to interviews on this very site "Detained in Dubai" who seems to give him support.
So why doesn't he give you one final, good interview? This escapes me.

Jim's Loire said...

Anon. Thank you. I share your puzzlement!