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Karim Benzema: French court says Real Madrid star used ‘killing and lying’ in sex tape case


In 2014, the French player Mathieu Valbuena is looking to get some data off his old phone when his life is changed forever and he falls into a blackmail scheme.
More than seven years later, Valbuena’s former teammate in France Karim Benzema, who plays for Real Madrid, was given a one-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros ($84,000) for being complicit in an extortion attempt.

Four of Benzema’s accomplices in the trial were also found guilty, with three of them receiving prison sentences.

Tewfik Bouzenoun, an attorney for defendant Younes Houass – who was given an 18-month suspended sentence – told CNN his client was “manipulated”.

“He never engaged in extortion or attempted blackmail because he never asked for money. He never had a financial claim,” Bouzenoun told CNN in a statement.

“I think the sentences are less severe than the prosecutor’s demands, I see leniency and leniency in them.”

CNN is trying to contact attorneys for the other co-defendants.

Real Madrid's Benzema is currently La Liga's top scorer.

Among the files transferred by Axel Angot from Valbuena’s faulty phone in 2014 was a video containing sexual content related to Valbuena.

Nearly a year later, Angot, with the support of others, attempted to use sex tapes to blackmail the footballer, according to a statement from the Versailles court that convicted Benzema.

The men trying to blackmail Valbuena have also contacted another former France international, Djibril Cisse, who, like Benzema, has played for some of Europe’s top clubs, in an attempt to convince Valbuena to pay.

However, Cisse refused to assist, according to court documents.

So the blackmailers reached out to Benzema, a childhood friend of one of them – Karim Zenati – to try to convince Valbuena to pay.

In delivering its verdict, the court ruled that Benzema, through “faking to introduce himself as a friend with a desire to help teammates”, used professional stature and lies. to convince Valbuena to “blackmail him by paying a sum and contact. For this purpose, his friend, Karim Zenati, is the only one who can help him.”

Following Wednesday’s ruling, Benzema’s legal team said the Real Madrid star would be cleared “in the court of appeal.”

“The court made it clear that Karim Benzema was unaware of the previous conspiracies and they ended up saying ‘he couldn’t, didn’t know,’ without any proof,” said one of the lawyers. of Benzema, Sylvain Cormier, said outside. courtroom.

“They sentenced him to a very harsh, unfair sentence without evidence. I was quite shocked by the verdict,” Cormier added.

Benzema's attorneys, Sylvain Cormier, right, and Antoine Vey spoke to reporters after the verdict.

The court statement said Benzema and Valbuena were not friends prior to this incident. According to the court, the 33-year-old Real Madrid star didn’t even have Valbuena’s phone number.

Benzema lied about his meeting with Mustapha Zouaoui, whom the court called the mastermind behind the blackmail, when he was first questioned by investigators, the documents said. He did so to protect Zenati, Benzema’s childhood friend and employee, according to a court statement.

Benzema insists Valbuena should meet Zenati. The Real Madrid player told Valbuena, who currently plays for Greek club Olympiacos, that the owners of the tape are from major criminal groups from the southern French city of Marseille and advised him not to Go to the police or your lawyer.

Benzema even swore “on his daughter’s head” to Valbuena that there would not be any copies of the sex tape, the court found.

Valbuena found “the objective of this action was to extract a sum of money from him to prevent the video from being made public,” the court said in the statement.

The court recognized that Benzema may not have been aware of the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that were taking place, but stated that he had engaged in the use of “lies and deceptions” to “persuade teammates mine. [Valbuena] for blackmail and communication for this purpose, his trusted man, in this case Karim Zenati. “

The court made this decision based on the content of Benzema’s discussion with Valbuena on October 6, 2015, at Clairefontaine, a suburb of Paris – where the French national team’s training ground is located – which he recounted to Zenati after that.

The statement said the recorded phone calls between Benzema and Zenati, broadcast at the trial, did not show any goodwill towards Valbuena and “prove the existence of an extortion effort led by the duo”. “.

Real Madrid declined to comment on the incident when asked by CNN.

Valbuena’s attorney, Paul-Albert Iweins, also declined to comment on Benzema’s sentencing.

Then on Wednesday, Benzema played and scored in Real Madrid’s Champions League win over Sheriff Tiraspol.

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