Karim Benzema: Real Madrid striker found guilty in sex tape blackmail case
France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has been handed a one-year suspended jail sentence and €75,000 fine after being found guilty in a sex tape blackmail case.
Benzema was found guilty of being involved in an attempt in 2015 to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
The 33-year-old lawyers’s have confirmed he will appeal against the verdict.
The court decision is unlikely to affect Benzema’s immediate sporting future. The forward is regarded as one of the favorites to win the Ballon d’Or award later this month following an impressive season with Madrid.
French federation president Noel Le Great has already said Benzema would be allowed to keep playing with France even if found guilty.
Benzema, who denied wrongdoing, didn’t attend the trial in Versailles last month and was absent for the verdict.
The four other defendants were also found guilty and did not appear at the court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors had asked that Benzema be fined €75,000, the maximum allowed on the charge, and be given a suspended 10-month jail term if found guilty.
Benzema was charged with complicity in the blackmail attempt over a sex tape thought to have been stolen from Valbuena’s mobile phone.
After preliminary charges in November 2015, Benzema was dropped from France’s national team by coach Didier Deschamps.
That resulted in Benzema missing Euro 2016, and also the 2018 World Cup which was won by France.
Deschamps recalled Benzema ahead of the delayed Euro 2020 tournament and has since fielded him regularly.
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