aljazeera.com
News|Football
France’s Benzema gets 1-year suspended sentence in sex-tape case
Real Madrid forward was found guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of a former international teammate.
Karim Benzema's defence team announced plans for an appeal [File: Reuters]
24 Nov 2021
A French court has given Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema a one-year suspended sentence for complicity in a bid to blackmail his former France teammate, Mathieu Valbuena, with a sex tape.
The sentence handed down on Wednesday was tougher than that sought by prosecutors against the 33-year-old player over the 2015 extortion attempt, which led Benzema to be cast out of the France team for five-and-a-half years.
Benzema was not in court in the Paris suburb of Versailles for the verdict, which comes hours before Real Madrid take on Sheriff Tiraspol in a Champions League game in Moldova.
His defence team immediately announced plans for an appeal.
Speaking to reporters at the court, one of his lawyers, Sylvain Cormier, said he was “quite stunned by the ruling”.
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 – delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic – making him the fifth-highest scorer in the history of Les Bleus.
SOURCE: AFP
RELATED
Karim Ben­ze­ma re­called by France for de­layed Euro 2020
Re­call ends strik­er’s five-and-a-half-year ab­sence over al­leged role in a black­mail plot.
18 May 2021
Real Madrid star Karim Ben­ze­ma to stand tri­al in sex tape case
The French for­ward is ac­cused of try­ing to black­mail for­mer France team-mate, Math­ieu Val­bue­na, in 2015.
7 Jan 2021
Mbappe’s win­ner takes France to Na­tions League ti­tle
World cham­pi­ons come from be­hind to beat Spain 2-1 with Mbappe net­ting late on.
11 Oct 2021
MORE FROM NEWS
Limbless Syrian boy in iconic photo starts new life in Italy
Taliban delegation begins talks in Oslo
In Pictures: Wildfire in California’s Big Sur forces evacuations
Syria prison attack kills more than 100, clashes ongoing
MOST READ
Airbus cancels $6bn contract with Qatar Airways after paint fight
Omicron ‘sub-variant’ throws up new virus questions
The day the world went dark: Survivor recalls disaster in Tonga
German navy chief resigns over controversial Ukraine comments
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2022 Al Jazeera Media Network
 
You rely on Al Jazeera for truth and transparency
We understand that your online privacy is very important and consenting to our collection of some personal information takes great trust. We ask for this consent because it allows Al Jazeera to provide an experience that truly gives a voice to the voiceless. You have the option to decline the cookies we automatically place on your browser but allowing Al Jazeera and our trusted partners to use cookies or similar technologies helps us improve our content and offerings to you. You can change your privacy preferences at any time by selecting ‘Cookie preferences’ at the bottom of your screen.To learn more, please view our Cookie Policy.