After more than six years, the “sextape affair” was finally judged: the Real Madrid player Karim Benzema was sentenced on Wednesday November 24 to a one-year suspended prison sentence and a € 75,000 fine, convicted of complicity in an attempt to blackmail his former teammate, Mathieu Valbuena.
In his judgment, the president of the 7e chamber of the Versailles Criminal Court considered that Karim Benzema had “Personally involved, at the cost of subterfuge and lies, to convince his teammate to submit to blackmail”.
→ READ. Karim Benzema and the sextape affair, the incomprehensible implication
The player’s lawyers immediately announced their intention to appeal, specifying that their client, absent from the proceedings last month and from the deliberations on Wednesday, would be present at a second trial. “The reaction is ultimately a reaction of anger”, notably lambasted Me Sylvain Cormier, saying to himself “Flabbergasted” by one “Very severe sentence, unjust and without proof”.
Duty of exemplarity
The 33-year-old striker was also ordered to pay € 80,000 to the complainant and a symbolic euro to the French Football Federation, which had taken legal action in this case.
For his involvement in this intimate video blackmail, the prosecution had requested against the player ten months suspended sentence and a € 75,000 fine. The prosecutors had recalled in their indictment the duty of exemplarity of the star of the France team, “Bearer of an image, hope, notoriety and moral values”.
Besides Karim Benzema, four other men were sentenced. Considered the ” umbilical cord “ In this case, Mustapha Zouaoui was notably sentenced to two and a half years in prison and an arrest warrant was issued against him. His lawyer announced he was going to appeal.
Benzema should stay in blue
“My client was waiting for recognition of his victim status, he had it, he is satisfied, he does not expect any particular apology from anyone”, also declared Mathieu Valbuena’s lawyer, Me Didier Domat.
“We have important civil interests, not negligible, but once again that will not be able to erase the damage that results from his non-selection for the France team”, he added. During the hearing, the current midfielder of Olympiakos (Greece), 37, recalled that this case had cost him his place with the Blues, he who at the time had 52 selections for the national team.
→ READ. Euro 2021: Karim Benzema back, the risky bet of Didier Deschamps
Karim Benzema, he remained away from the French selection for more than five years before making a surprise return before Euro 2021. This conviction should not, however, keep him away from the Blues again. Two weeks ago, the boss of the French Football Federation, Noël Le Graët, explained that the 33-year-old striker “Would not be excluded” of the selection in case of “Judicial sanction”.