French prosecutors demand the imprisonment of Real Madrid star Karim Benzema

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Today, Thursday, French prosecutors demanded a 10-month suspended prison sentence for Karim Benzema, the Spanish star of Real Madrid, in the case of extortion of his former teammate, “Rooster” Matteo Valbuena, with a sexual video.

The case dates back to 2015, when Valbuena was blackmailed by unknown persons over an obscene tape, and Benzema advised him at the time to pay the money to the blackmailers.

Benzema is one of five people on trial for attempted extortion, which led to his exclusion from the “Rooster” team for five and a half years.

The public prosecutor requested sentences ranging from 18 months’ suspended prison sentences to up to four years’ imprisonment for the other four defendants.

Benzema, who played yesterday with his team against its Ukrainian host Dinamo Kiev in the third round of the Champions League, was not present at the Versailles court on Wednesday and Thursday during the sessions.

Benzema is accused of inciting Valbuena to pay a sum of money to the blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video of the latter, and the former admitted his intervention in the matter at the request of one of the blackmailers.

Benzema has long denied the allegations, saying he tried to help Valbuena out of the situation, not to entrap him.

“Benzema is not a good person who tried to help. He worked to allow the negotiators to reach their goal and the blackmailers to get the money,” prosecutor Segolene Mar told the court. She also asked for a fine of 75,000 euros.

The two players were excluded from the “rooster” team since late 2015 before Benzema returned to the European Cup this summer, when the world champions were eliminated from the 16th round against Switzerland, before they achieved about ten days ago the European Nations League title at the expense of Spain in the final led by Benzema.

Valbuena was not summoned again.

“I was afraid for my sporting career, for the France national team,” Valbuena said in his testimony on the day the trial opened on Wednesday. “I knew that if the video materials were published, it would be difficult for me in the national team, and that’s what happened later.”

And the Greek Olympiacos player added that his selection for the national team is the “holy grail of players”, and that “I did not imagine” the involvement of a colleague in a conspiracy against him.

The 37-year-old continued, stressing that Benzema was “insisting on making me meet someone”, and admitted that his colleague was not aggressive and did not mention the money, but “when you solve a problem like this (…) it is not for tickets to the football match.”

The file is based in particular on a discussion in October 2015 between the two men at Clairefontaine, the Roosters training center, during which Benzema allegedly made it clear that he could introduce Valbuena to a “reliable person”, according to the latter at the hearing, to help him ” Dealing with any possible publication of the tape.

Benzema said at the time that he intervened with Valbuena at the request of his childhood friend, who was resorted to by the blackmailers who had the tape.

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