6 Languedoc wine growers prosecuted for conspiracy

Thursday January 25 2018 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : Michèle Trévoux

On January 17, the French public prosecutor Christophe Barret confirmed that seven wine growers arrested on January 15 had been questioned as part of three enquiries conducted by the Montpellier regional crime unit. One of them was released on the evening of the 16th with no charges brought against him.

For the six others, the case is not looking so good - all of them have been referred to the Montpellier public prosecutor. They have received a summons to appear before the criminal court on March 1 and pending the hearing, have been placed under court supervision.


Bordeaux convoy and damage to Vinadeis and Biron facilities


The first case dates back to May 3, 2017. A four-vehicle convoy was intercepted at the Saint-Selve tolls in Gironde. Gendarmes discovered destructive equipment such as mallets, axes, diesel, tear gas and Molotov cocktails, along with ‘dedicated’ telephones, earmarked specifically for the operation. “We consider we have enough material evidence to incriminate five of those arrested for conspiracy to destroy or damage by fire, explosives or dangerous means”, said the prosecutor. The maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years' imprisonment.

The second enquiry involves the damage and destruction of equipment, occurring on 19 July 2016 in Béziers, at premises belonging to Vinadéis with damage amounting to €900,000. A third procedure has been launched for acts committed in Sète on 2 August 2016 at the headquarters of negociant firm Biron where 44 vats were emptied and 11,000 hectolitres of wine flowed into the surrounding streets of Sète. 


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