Michel Campanella, presented as the "godfather" of Marseille, has been behind the bars of the Aix-en-Provence prison center since this Sunday. Following his arrest on Wednesday in Aubagne (Bouches-du-Rhône) and those of six alleged accomplices, including his wife and son, Campanella spent four days in police custody in the premises of the judicial police before being presented to an investigating judge.
Aged 57, the Blond or the Canary (two of the nicknames with which he is regularly adorned) has been indicted for an impressive number of alleged crimes and offenses: extortion, association of criminals with a view to committing murders, in receiving stolen goods, for offenses under the narcotic drugs legislation, receiving stolen goods in organized gangs, money laundering and further offenses under the narcotic drugs legislation.
Four of his alleged accomplices also indicted
An inventory that provides an overview of the thickness of the character, a major figure in Marseille banditry for at least three decades. "Michel Campanella is blocking all the charges against him and we will appeal within ten days of his indictment," said his lawyer, Jean-Jacques Campana, in Paris.
If the wife and son of Michel Campanella were left free after their police custody, four of his alleged accomplices were also charged. At least two of them are old fellow travelers. According to our information, these are Patrick Le Maux and Jacques Buchignani.
Known in recent years as the owner of the Bar de la Marine, a prominent establishment in the Old Port, the former has already been sentenced to eight years in prison for criminal association after the attack on an armored van near Mulhouse in 1990. Patrick Le Maux was also an intimate friend of Bernard Barresi, ex-tutelary figure of the great banditry of Marseille arrested in June 2010… in the presence of Michel Campanella.
He has already spent ten years in prison
As for Jacques Buchignani, he is a trusted man of the Campanella clan, already imprisoned for thirteen years. "Both of them are childhood friends of Michel Campanella, that's all," says master Campana. Particularly loyal childhood friends. Two other men have been charged in this case.
Brother of Gérald Campanella, arrested in 2017 after a long run and sentenced since, Michel Campanella has already spent more than ten years in prison: in the 1990s for a bank robbery and in the second half of the 2000s for fraud. Pursued in 2014 in a case of concealment of favoritism as the boss of an earthmoving company, he was suspected of having benefited from privileged but fraudulent information in the context of a public market. He had finally been acquitted by the criminal court. In recent months, Michel Campanella and his entourage have been the target of an investigation by the criminal brigade of the Marseille judicial police.