Karim Benzema: French court says Real Madrid star used ‘subterfuge and lies’ in sex tape case

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In 2014, French footballer Mathieu Valbuena was seeking to get some knowledge off his previous telephone when his life modified eternally and he fell right into a blackmail plot.
Greater than seven years later, Valbuena’s ex-France teammate Karim Benzema, who performs for Actual Madrid, was handed a one-year suspended jail sentence and a 75,000 euro wonderful ($84,000) for complicity in tried blackmail.

4 of Benzema’s co-defendants within the trial have been additionally discovered responsible, with three of them receiving jail sentences.

Tewfik Bouzenoun, lawyer for defendant Younes Houass — who was handed an 18-month suspended sentence — advised CNN that his consumer was “manipulated.”

“He by no means engaged in blackmail or try and blackmail as he by no means requested for cash. He by no means had a monetary request,” Bouzenoun advised CNN in a press release.

“I believe the verdicts are much less extreme than these requested by the prosecutor, I see leniency and clemency in them.”

CNN is making an attempt to contact the attorneys of the opposite co-defendants.

Benzema of Real Madrid is currently top goal scorer in La Liga.

Among the many recordsdata transferred from Valbuena’s faulty telephone in 2014 by Axel Angot was a video containing sexual content material involving Valbuena.

Nearly a 12 months later, Angot, with the help of others, tried to make use of the intercourse tape to blackmail the footballer, in keeping with a press release from the Versailles court docket that convicted Benzema.

The boys making an attempt to blackmail Valbuena additionally reached out to a different former French worldwide, Djibril Cisse, who, like Benzema, has performed for a few of Europe’s main golf equipment, in an try and persuade Valbuena to pay.

Nevertheless, Cisse refused to help, in keeping with the court docket paperwork.

So the blackmailers turned to Benzema, who was a childhood good friend of considered one of them — Karim Zenati — to attempt to persuade Valbuena to pay.

In handing down its judgment, the court docket dominated that Benzema, by “falsely presenting himself as a good friend wishing to assist his teammate,” used his skilled stature and lies to persuade Valbuena to “undergo blackmail by paying a sum of cash and to contact for this goal his good friend Karim Zenati who was the one one ready to assist him.”

After Wednesday’s verdict, Benzema’s authorized group mentioned the Actual Madrid star can be cleared “within the court docket of attraction.”

“It was clearly introduced by the court docket that Karim Benzema was not conscious of the prior machinations after which in the long run they mentioned that ‘he can’t, not have identified,’ with none proof,” considered one of Benzema’s attorneys, Sylvain Cormier, mentioned exterior the courtroom.

“They’ve condemned him with a really extreme, unjust sentence with out proof. I am fairly shocked by this ruling,” added Cormier.

Benzema's lawyers Sylvain Cormier, right, and Antoine Vey answer reporters after the verdict.

The court docket assertion mentioned Benzema and Valbuena weren’t associates earlier than this incident. The 33-year-old Actual Madrid star did not even have Valbuena’s telephone quantity, in keeping with the court docket.

Benzema lied about his assembly with Mustapha Zouaoui, who the court docket known as the mastermind behind the blackmail, when he was first questioned by investigators, the paperwork mentioned. He was doing so to guard Zenati, Benzema’s childhood good friend and worker, in keeping with the court docket assertion.

Benzema insisted that Valbuena ought to meet with Zenati. The Actual Madrid participant advised Valbuena, who now performs for Greek membership Olympiacos, that the individuals in possession of the tape have been from main crime teams from the southern French metropolis of Marseille and suggested him in opposition to going to the police or his lawyer.

Benzema even swore “on the pinnacle of his daughter” to Valbuena that there would not be any copies of the intercourse tape, the court docket findings mentioned.

Valbuena discovered “that the purpose of the maneuver was to extract a sum of cash from him to be able to stop the video from being made public,” the court docket mentioned within the assertion.

The court docket acknowledged that Benzema might not have been conscious of the behind-the-scene maneuvers that have been taking place, however said that he was personally concerned in utilizing “subterfuge and lies” to “persuade his teammate [Valbuena] to undergo blackmail and to contact for this goal his trusted man, on this case Karim Zenati.”

The court docket made this judgement based mostly on the content material of Benzema’s dialogue with Valbuena on October 6, 2015, within the Parisian suburb of Clairefontaine — the positioning of the French Nationwide Crew’s coaching floor — which he recounted to Zenati instantly afterward.

The recorded phone conversations between Benzema and Zenati, which have been performed on the trial, didn’t display any good will towards Valbuena and “proves the existence of an try and blackmail led by the duo,” the assertion mentioned.

The French Soccer Federation mentioned it had no assertion on the case when requested by CNN however its president, Noël Le Graët, clarified that Benzema is “nonetheless a participant for the France group. This resolution would not change something for us.”

Actual Madrid declined to touch upon the case when requested by CNN.

Valbuena’s lawyer, Paul-Albert Iweins, additionally declined to touch upon Benzema’s sentence.

Afterward Wednesday, Benzema performed and scored in Actual Madrid’s Champions League victory in opposition to Sheriff Tiraspol.

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