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French court convicts Karim Benzema of attempted blackmail

A Court in Versailles on Wednesday found France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of former international team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

Update:
(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 24, 2021 Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema looks on as he warms up prior to the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. - The jud
LLUIS GENEAFP

A Court in Versailles on Wednesday found France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of former international team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

A French judge handed Benzema a one-year suspended jail term and ordered him to pay a €75,000 ($84,000) fine.

The Real Madrid striker had hoped to bury the accusation that has been pursuing him since 2015 for his alleged involvement in an attempt to blackmail his then national team mate Matthieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

The magistrates at the Sumpreme Court ruled that the investigators had not used illegitimate means to obtain evidence, contrary to what the player’s defence had argued in its appeal.

Following the incident coming to light in 2015, the striker was frozen out of the French national team only to secure a recall in 2021 by 'Les Bleus' head coach Didier Deschamps.

Denied allegations

The Real Madrid player has always been quick to deny the allegations and claimed that his intentions were to help Valbuena get rid of the video in question.

Benzema is currently on Champions League duty with Real Madrid as they FC Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League tonight (Wednesday).

The French striker did not show up to the court in Versailles for the verdict, nor was Valbuena who is currently playing his football in Greece with Olympiakos.

FILE PHOTO: France's Mathieu Valbuena (L) and his teammate Karim Benzema react during their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals against Germany at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 4, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo
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FILE PHOTO: France's Mathieu Valbuena (L) and his teammate Karim Benzema react during their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals against Germany at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 4, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File PhotoCharles PlatiauREUTERS

Benzema had been accused of helping the four other men blackmail Valbuena over an intimate video that had been taken from Valbuena's mobile phone.

The other four defendants were also found guilty. Axel Angot received two years in prison, Mustapha Zouaoui two years and six months in prison, Karim Zenati 15 months in prison and Younes Houass an 18-month suspended sentence.

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