The star of Real Madrid Karim Benzema was sentenced to one year in prison -with suspension of sentence- and to pay a fine of 75 thousand euros for considering him an accessory to blackmail his former teammate, Mathieu Valbuena, with a sexual video.
“Benzema was personally involved … to convince his teammate to accept the blackmail,” said the Versailles correctional court, for whom the forward showed “some jubilation” and “no benevolence” towards Valbuena.
After the reading of the verdict, the lawyers of the merengue striker – who was absent during the hearings – announced that they will present the appeal. “Benzema will come on Appeal to explain himself and the facts will be clarified “, assured one of his lawyers Antoine Vey, who considered the sentence “unfair”.
Another of the defense attorneys, Sylvain Cormier, affirmed that it is “a very harsh, unjust penalty and without evidence” and that the “intentional element” of the crime was not given.
For their part, the representatives of the prosecution stressed that the star of the French team had the duty to set an example, as “bearer of an image, a hope, a notoriety and moral values.”
The case involving Benzema
“I was afraid for my sports career, if the video came out my presence in the national team was over, as it happened later,” said Valbuena, who since the case broke out in November 2015 was never called up by the coach, Didier Deschamps, who did. He quoted Benzema again.
At the time, Valbuena was at the ‘Bleus’ rally and had handed his computer over to Axel Angot, who was handling computer tasks for various players, and found the video. According to the prosecution, Angot kept the video for herself and shared it with a friend, Mustapha Zouaoui. Both circulated the video and asked Valbuena for financial compensation.
Justice accused Benzema of having been an accomplice of the blackmailers when offered Valbuena the help of an intermediary, Karim Zenati, to help you with the video problem. Zenati, in turn, had already been contacted by Angot and Zouaoui to pressure Valbuena after having failed in previous attempts.
Angot was sentenced to two years in prison; Zouaoui to two years and six months for being considered the “umbilical cord” in this case; Zenati received 15 months and Younes Houass, a first intermediary who contacted Valbuena, 18 months with suspension of sentence.
“Benzema will not be excluded”
From the outbreak of the case, known as Sextape, Benzema was not called up to the French national team until June of this year., when the team faced Wales in a pre-Euro match. But his place in the ‘Bleus’ is not in danger
Two weeks ago, the president of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noël Le Graët, already told Le Parisien newspaper that the Real Madrid forward “will not be excluded” if convicted.
And, regarding Real Madrid, it seems unlikely that the Spanish team, which plays a Champions League match against Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova this Wednesday, sanctions one of its best players, whom it has always supported in this case.