The three-day trial will see 33-year-old Benzema within the dock alongside 4 males alleged to have tried to blackmail midfielder Valbuena over a ‘sex-tape’ video involving the athlete.
Benzema is accused of pressuring Valbuena — his then-teammate on the French nationwide crew — to pay blackmailers to forestall the video from going public.
According to paperwork from the prosecutor’s workplace, in 2015, Valbuena obtained an nameless name on the French nationwide crew’s coaching floor exterior Paris.
The caller sought to “make an arrangement” with Valbuena over the alleged video however would solely achieve this if the soccer participant appointed a trusted middleman.
Rather than comply, Valbuena filed a police grievance, after which the footballer says he obtained additional calls and messages from the nameless blackmailer, reiterating the necessity for a trusted intermediary to “sort out this problem,” in line with paperwork from the prosecutor’s workplace.
Complicity in tried blackmail
If discovered responsible, Benzema faces a most five-year jail sentence and a doable fantastic of 75,000 euros ($87,000), in line with the prosecutor’s workplace.
Of the 5 males on trial, Benzema is the one defendant going through the lesser cost of “complicity in attempted blackmail.” The 4 different males are all going through a cost of “attempted blackmail” together with two who may face harsher sentencing for having already dedicated an identical or an identical crime.
Valbuena will probably be attending the trial, his lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins advised CNN, who added that the footballer had, “always asked that there be a public trial so that this case allows him to allow the public to fully understand that he is the victim of the facts that are being judged.”
On the alternative bench, Benzema’s lawyer Sylvain Cormier advised CNN: “We expect the trial to finally bring to light the absurdity of the charges against Karim Benzema.”
Benzema won’t be in court docket on Wednesday, in line with his lawyer. “He will be represented in court,” Cornier advised CNN.
When the investigation first began, Benzema denied the allegations.
Return to worldwide soccer
As a part of this case, Benzema was put beneath formal investigation in November 2015, in line with paperwork from the prosecutor, quickly after which he was suspended from the French nationwide crew, some seven months wanting the 2016 European Championships.
French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet took a “personal decision” to exclude Benzema from the crew, following his alleged involvement within the blackmail of Valbuena.
Some 5 years after the preliminary police grievance, Benzema was restored to the French nationwide facet for the Euro 2020 event, the place Les Bleus had been knocked out on penalties by Switzerland. Benzema scored 4 objectives within the event.