The Real Madrid player is suspected of “attempt to blackmail” his former teammate in France team Mathieu Valbuena.
New twist in the sextape blackmail case that has poisoned French football since 2015. Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is referred to the criminal court in this case for “attempted blackmail”, announced Thursday, January 7, the Versailles prosecutor’s office at Agence France-Presse. This correctional referral had been requested last July by the prosecution, had learned The world at the time. “These are artificial and unfair prosecutions,” commented Me Sylvain Cormier, the player’s lawyer.
Karim Benzema, who has not played for the France team since this case was revealed, is suspected of having incited Mathieu Valbuena, his ex-teammate in selection, to pay blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video on the featuring. Mathieu Valbuena had filed a complaint in the wake. Four other men are also referred in this case for attempted blackmail, and one of them for breach of trust as well.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema quipped in a provocative message posted on Instagram. “So when’s the masquerade, huh?” “, He reacted on the social network, a few hours after the announcement of his referral to the criminal court of Versailles.
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A decision “as absurd as it is predictable”
The former international Djibril Cissé was himself removed from prosecution, in accordance with the prosecution’s requisitions made at the end of June. “We are unfortunately not surprised. This is a decision as absurd as it is predictable ”, reacted Me Sylvain Cormier, Karim Benzema’s lawyer, denouncing a “relentlessness” against his client.
This referral to the criminal court, on the other hand, constitutes “the logical continuation of the instruction which perfectly established the participation of different people”, estimated the council of Mathieu Valbuena, Mr.e Paul-Albert Iweins.
While the France team was preparing a friendly match against Armenia in Nice in October 2015, Karim Benzema had mentioned with Mathieu Valbuena the existence of an intimate video concerning the latter. For the Real player, it was a simple friendly conversation aimed at warning his partner. Valbuena speaks on the contrary of an injunction to pay.
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The childhood friend at the heart of blackmail
For several months now, an anonymous person had been trying to get in touch with him to blackmail him in exchange for this sextape. Valbuena quickly identified those who were trying to extort money from him: Mustapha Zouaoui and Axel Angot, two men gravitating in the football world in Marseille.
The two men are then tapped and the investigators intercept a conversation between them and Karim Zenati, childhood friend of Karim Benzema. Karim Zenati assures them that the star striker of the France team will intervene with Valbuena to discuss the existence of this video. In November 2015, a few months before Euro 2016 organized in France, Benzema and his friend Karim Zenati were taken into custody and then indicted.
Since then, Karim Benzema has not been recalled to the France team (81 selections) and has continued to proclaim his innocence. Mathieu Valbuena (52 caps) will never be recalled in Blue either. Djibril Cissé, ex-international and partner of Valbuena in Marseille, was the first to have informed the current player of Olympiakos of the existence of the video, but claimed to have simply wanted to warn him.