Madrid striker Benzema tried in France for blackmail – .

Madrid striker Benzema tried in France for blackmail – .

But Benzema also told investigators that he took no part in the blackmail and that his involvement was limited to simply informing Valbuena, out of friendship, of the existence of the sex tape.
It is not known whether Benzema will be physically present at the trial from Wednesday to Friday in Versailles. Real Madrid were playing Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday and Benzema traveled and trained with his team in Kiev ahead of the game.

Valbuena lodged a first complaint with the police in June 2015. He stated that while on international service for France, at his training base in Clairefontaine, he had been called by an anonymous caller who told him about a sex. tap and told him they could work it out. . The appellant asked Valbuena to appoint a trusted intermediary to work out the details.

With a police detective posing as a negotiator, the investigation first identified three people: Axel Angot, Mustapha Zouaoui and Younes Houass, all currently on trial for attempted blackmail. Their communications were tapped.

Benzema was then brought in by Zenati, a friend who was previously convicted of drug trafficking and theft and was released from prison in 2013.

When both were on international duty in October 2015, Benzema asked Valbuena to come to his room at Clairefontaine for a conversation which led Valbuena to conclude that his teammate from France was involved with the alleged blackmailers and was acting as their go-between. .

Police said they heard Benzema tell Zenati on a wiretap that evening that Valbuena “doesn’t take us seriously”.

Benzema later told the examining magistrate that he just wanted to help the midfielder.

Benzema and Zenati were both the subject of preliminary charges in November 2015, joining Angot, Zouaoui and Houass under formal investigation.

Benzema was then excluded from the French national team by coach Didier Deschamps, missing the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup, which France won.

Deschamps recalled Benzema in May ahead of the delayed Euro 2020 tournament and has fielded him 11 times so far in 2021.

Valbuena, now 37, hasn’t played for France since October 11, 2015, when he came into play in a friendly against Denmark.


Associated Press writer John Leicester in Paris contributed to this report.


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Nicolas Vaux-montagny, The Associated Press


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