Attempted Blackmail: Benzema Gets One-year Suspended Jail Term

Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema has been found guilty of attempting to blackmail his former France team-mate, Mathieu Valbuena, with a sex tape.

Naija News reports that Benzema was given a one-year suspended sentence by a French court in the Paris suburb of Versailles on Wednesday which was tougher than that sought by prosecutors.

The attempted blackmail which happened in 2015, saw Benzema being cast out of the France team for five-and-a-half years.

It was gathered that Benzema was not in court for the verdict, which comes hours before Real Madrid take on Sheriff Tiraspol in a Champions League game in Moldova.

Speaking to reporters at the courthouse, one of his lawyers, Sylvain Cormier, said the ruling will be appealed, describing the judgement as stunning.

The prosecution had called for Benzema, who was one of five people charged over an affair that rocked the French national team, to be given a 10-month suspended sentence.

Benzema did not attend his trial last month, citing professional commitments.

The verdict is not expected to damage his career, with French football federation president Noel Le Graet saying he could keep his place in Les Bleus even if convicted and Real Madrid also remaining supportive of their star player.

But Benzema’s conviction nonetheless cast a pall over his stunning comeback to the national team earlier this year after a years-long absence.

Benzema has scored nine times since being recalled by France manager Didier Deschamps for the Euro 2020 finals, making him the fifth-highest scorer in the history of Les Bleus.

This article was originally published on Naija News

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