Date set for trial against footballer Karim Benzema

Breaking: Karim Benzema guilty of attempted blackmail of Mathieu Valbuena

Breaking: Karim Benzema guilty of attempted blackmail of Mathieu Valbuena. Credit: @Futbol_Abs_yt / Twitter

The trial against Real Madrid football player Karim Benzema, 33, will be held between October 20 and 22 this year.

THE trial will take place in Versailles and if he is found guilty he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and a fine of €75,000.

Another four people will stand trial with him in the case which began in 2014 when Axel Angot, a technician who Mathieu Valbuena asked for help with his mobile phone, recorded a video with sexual content in which Valbuena could be seen with his partner.

The accusation maintains that Angot and his friend Mustapha Zouaoui contacted Valbuena in June 2015 demanding money in exchange for not sharing the images.

However, Valbuena refused to pay and contacted the police.

In the meantime they contacted Djibril Cisse asking him to convince Valbuena to pay up. Still unsuccessful, they went to Karim Zenati, a childhood friend of Benzema, to try to get him to intervene.

Benzema allegedly spoke to Valbuena in October 2015, suggesting that he pay up to avoid problems. He claims it was friendly advice, but the accusation considers that he was pressuring Valbuena, and charged him on November 5, 2018, for blackmail.

The public prosecution decided in January to take him to court.

Since 2015 when the case broke, French manager Didier Deschamps has not chosen Benzema to play with the French national team. When asked why, he said he can’t forgive him. The French media has tried to convince Deschamps to change his mind on the matter, but until now he has said that he cannot forgive Benzema.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.