Friday, January 21

Justice. The sextape trial: judgment time for Karim Benzema

Six years after the scandal, justice will decide.

Is footballer Karim Benzema involved in the sextape blackmail attempt that targeted Mathieu Valbuena in 2015? The Real Madrid striker, who had been banned from the France team when the affair broke before making his return to Blue this year, just before the Euro, will he be found guilty as requested the prosecution, or will he be released as his defense pleaded?

A detrimental absence?

The Lyon striker did not appear at the judicial court of Versailles, in the Yvelines, during the trial which was held from October 20 to 22. His absence did not really work in his favor, especially since he had not sent any letter to this effect to the court, nor sent information on his income so that the magistrates could get an idea of ​​his emoluments. in the event of a fine.

Karim Benzema was satisfied with a representation at the hearing by his lawyers, which the law allows him. But he was the only one of the five defendants not to come to the stand to explain himself.

In all likelihood, he will not be present for the judgment any more, while his team is playing a Champions League match in Moldova in the evening.

A milieu of schemers

Mathieu Valbunena had come to explain how he had learned that a video of a sexual nature that he had filmed was about to be published, while he was himself an international tricolor: “If it came out, the team of France, it was becoming complicated for me, “he told the court. He then filed a complaint quickly, allowing investigators from the judicial police to wiretap the various protagonists of the case, and to proceed to arrests.

It is Axel Angot, the handyman of the player responsible in particular for the computer equipment, who admitted to having pirated the file. The idea then emerged, to his of this scheming medium which revolves around professional footballers, to demand money from Mathieu Valbuena by threatening to divulge the images.

Besides Axel Angot, three men are thus prosecuted for attempted blackmail: Younes Houass, Mustapha Zouaoui and Karim Zenati, the best friend of Karim Benzema who was working in Madrid at the time, alongside “KB9”.

Prison sentences ranging from 18 months suspended to 4 years firm were required against them.

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A “planned and prepared” intervention?

Karim Benzema, him, is returned to the criminal court only for “complicity” of attempted blackmail. The prosecution accuses him of a conversation in Clairefontaine, in October 2015, during which he proposes to Mathieu Valbuena to settle the case through his friend from Bron and trusted man, Karim Zenati.

An intervention “planned and prepared” with the blackmailers, according to the prosecution, which required ten months suspended prison sentence and a 75,000 euro fine against the player. “Karim Benzema plays a role in a strategy, lambasted the prosecutor. It is a project with which he is associated.”

I really felt like he wanted to scare me

Mathieu Valbuena at the helm

During the investigation, the accused Benzema had declared to have wanted to “help” his “friend” Mathieu Valbuena. At the hearing, it was his lawyers who spoke for him: “It is more the investigators more than Mathieu Valbuena who accused Karim Benzema”, estimates Me Antoine Vey, when Me Sylvain Cormier is surprised at the behavior of “Petit bike “which throws itself in the arms of Benzema the match following this famous conversation:” If we had questioned him at that moment, he would undoubtedly have said that nothing serious had happened “, predicts the Lyon penalist.

The president of the French Football Federation Noël Le Graët has already indicated that the international tricolor would not be excluded from the France team in case of conviction. As for the Ballon d’Or, it will be awarded in five days, but the votes have been closed since the end of October.

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