Karim Benzema was accused of inciting his teammate Valbuena to pay a sum of money to the blackmailers who threatened to reveal an “intimate video” of Valbuena, and the first admitted at the time that he intervened in the matter at the request of one of the blackmailers.
This led to the exclusion of players from the French national team since late 2015, before Benzema returned after nearly 6 years in the European Cup this summer, where the world champions were eliminated from the 16th round against Switzerland, before they achieved 10 days ago the European Nations League title at the expense of Spain in the final Led by Benzema, according to Agence France-Presse.
On the pitch, yesterday, Tuesday, Benzema did not appear distracted after he led Real Madrid to a landslide victory over its host Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine, by five goals in the group stage of the Champions League, “Champions League”, on the eve of the trial.
Benzema, 33, scored a goal and assisted another and was chosen as the man of the match.
The French star faces a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a fine of 75,000 euros, in the case in which 4 other men are being tried for attempted extortion, and one of them is also being tried for breach of trust.
According to the French agency, the trial file is based in particular on a discussion that took place in October of 2015 between the two men at the French national team training center “Clearfontaine”, during which Benzema allegedly made it clear that he could introduce Valbuena to a “reliable person”, according to the latter. At the hearing, to help him “deal” with any possible release of the tape.
The French judiciary will determine whether the talk was the result of “friendly advice” or “harmful pressure”.
When Karim Benzema was referred to the criminal court in Versailles last January, his lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, denounced the decision, saying, “Unfortunately, we are not surprised. This is a ridiculous and predictable decision,” according to AFP.
According to the prosecution, Benzema revealed to his teammate, Valbuena, the existence of the tape in October 2015, when the French national team was in a camp in preparation for a friendly match against Armenia in the southern city of Nice.
Benzema claimed, at the time, that he interfered with Valbuena at the request of his childhood friend, who was resorted to by the blackmailers who had the tape.