The three-day trial will see 33-year-old Benzema within the dock alongside 4 males alleged to have tried to blackmail midfielder Valbuena over a ‘sex-tape’ video involving the athlete.
Benzema is accused of pressuring Valbuena — his then-teammate on the French nationwide crew — to pay blackmailers to stop the video from going public.
In keeping with paperwork from the prosecutor’s workplace, in 2015, Valbuena obtained an nameless name on the French nationwide crew’s coaching floor outdoors Paris.
The caller sought to “make an association” with Valbuena over the alleged video however would solely accomplish that if the soccer participant appointed a trusted middleman.
Quite than comply, Valbuena filed a police criticism, after which the footballer says he obtained additional calls and messages from the nameless blackmailer, reiterating the necessity for a trusted intermediary to “kind out this downside,” in line with paperwork from the prosecutor’s workplace.
Complicity in tried blackmail
If discovered responsible, Benzema faces a most five-year jail sentence and a doable tremendous of 75,000 euros ($87,000), in line with the prosecutor’s workplace.
Of the 5 males on trial, Benzema is the one defendant dealing with the lesser cost of “complicity in tried blackmail.” The 4 different males are all dealing with a cost of “tried blackmail” together with two who may face harsher sentencing for having already dedicated an analogous or similar crime.
Valbuena might be attending the trial, his lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins instructed CNN, who added that the footballer had, “at all times requested that there be a public trial in order that this case permits him to permit the general public to totally perceive that he’s the sufferer of the information which might be being judged.”
On the other bench, Benzema’s lawyer Sylvain Cormier instructed CNN: “We count on the trial to lastly carry to gentle the absurdity of the costs towards Karim Benzema.”
Benzema won’t be in court docket on Wednesday, in line with his lawyer. “He might be represented in court docket,” Cornier instructed CNN.
When the investigation first began, Benzema denied the allegations.
Return to worldwide soccer
As a part of this case, Benzema was put below formal investigation in November 2015, in line with paperwork from the prosecutor, quickly after which he was suspended from the French nationwide crew, some seven months wanting the 2016 European Championships.
French Soccer Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet took a “private resolution” to exclude Benzema from the crew, following his alleged involvement within the blackmail of Valbuena.
Some 5 years after the preliminary police criticism, Benzema was restored to the French nationwide facet for the Euro 2020 match, the place Les Bleus have been knocked out on penalties by Switzerland. Benzema scored 4 objectives within the match.