Suspended sentence requested for Benzema

Prosecutors have called for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to be given a 10-month suspended sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros ($A116,500) for aiding the attempted blackmail of his former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape, the Versailles prosecutors’ office confirmed to dpa on Thursday.

The trial of 33-year-old Benzema, who is not attending court personally, continues until Friday. Four other men are on trial for attempted blackmail and one case of abuse of trust.

Benzema is accused of being complicit in the attempt to blackmail Valbuena, who was threatened in a phone call in June 2015 with the publication of the video.

The focus of the case against him is a conversation between Benzema and Valbuena when he suggested his team-mate communicate with the accused blackmailers through an intermediary. Money was not discussed explicitly, said Valbuena, though he said this was clear.

Benzema is citing professional obligations to explain his absence as he played with Real in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk in Kiev on Tuesday and faces a Spanish League Clasico against Barcelona on Sunday.

Due to the involvement in the affair, Benzema missed the 2016 European Championship in France, their World Cup win in 2018 and only returned to the national team this summer.

The player’s defence has rejected the allegations.

The Fort News