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Murder charge for internet entrepreneur


Founder of projects such as Gem Lifestyle, Gran Scala and Gextech accused of murdering his wife

Well known internet entrepreneur Mark Campbell (53) appeared in the Old Bailey courts in London this week, charged with the murder of his 35-year-old wife Olga Pleguezuelos at their London home last October.

Evidence has been led that Pleguezuelos was going to leave her husband and start a new life in Las Vegas with another man, and that hours after receiving a text message from this person that suggested a degree of intimacy, she was dead – allegedly stabbed by her husband, who was found on the premises with wounds to his wrist and neck.

Notes jotted down by Campbell describing his thoughts about her imminent departure were found in a waste bin after his arrest, which the prosecution claims show he had been "rationalising the situation”.

Campbell has pleaded not guilty to the murder, claiming that he was provoked and did not intend to kill his wife.

Aftab Jafferjee QC, prosecuting, said: "The defendant was a CEO of an online gaming business and had run up considerable debts. It became a cause of strain in their marriage.

The trial, expected to last two weeks, continues.

Campbell's name is associated with involvement in some major gaming enterprises. He was a senior executive with Gextech and was reportedly an important driving force in creating that company's impressive 3D virtual football game until 2006.

The software for the at that time revolutionary fantasy football betting game featured superb graphics and offered a Fantastic League in which players could build football teams, customize team strips and arrange games at different stadia .

More recently he founded Gem Lifestyle, a 3D virtual world in which leading companies including online casino group 32Red acquired real estate on cyber islands and provided entertainment to visitors and virtual “residents”. And at the same time he was involved as CIO of International Leisure Development with a scheme to build a giant casino city branded Gran Scala in Spain.

According to publicity material Gran Scala will be: “….a leisure and entertainment city in the heart of Spain, a historical trip through time, civilisations and cultures. The idea of this project is to create a city that will become the ultimate destination for rest and recreation of people of any age. The city will consist of 32 casino hotels, 5 huge entertainment parks with various themes, a conference centre, several hotels, hundreds of shops and restaurants, a golf course, a horse race track, an opera theatre, museums and residential development. It's truly a huge-scale project.”

His Spanish wife was a marketing manager for Aristocrat Europe, which is a partner in the Gran Scala project.

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