This time, the court date should suit Karim Benzema. Absent from his trial at first instance, in October 2021, for: “sporting reasons”the striker of the Blues and Real Madrid must appear on June 30, according to our information, before the 9and correctional chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles, in the context of the appeal of the “sextape blackmail” case brought in 2015 against his former teammate in the French team, Mathieu Valbuena.
Sentenced in November 2021 to a one-year suspended prison term and a fine of €75,000, the player had appealed the criminal court’s verdict. His lawyers then said their client would come in person “to explain” on the occasion of this new hearing. One of Karim Benzema’s advisers, Sylvain Cormier, was contacted and declined to comment.
“It has been established by the proceedings and the debates that Mr Benzema, in response to the request of his friend Karim Zenati, and aware of the blackmail maneuvers to which his team-mate Mathieu Valbuena was the subject, which continued without success, consented his help in these maneuvers to convince his teammate to give in to blackmail and pay a sum of money”the judges had decided in their reasons.
A captive audience more than four months before the World Cup
For the magistrates, who had gone beyond the claims of the prosecution, “The importance of Mr Benzema’s official income, estimated by himself and by the specialist press at around EUR 10 million a year in 2015 from his club’s revenue alone, makes it possible to express any financial motivation for these actions. who provide their beneficiaries with an amount between 25,000 and 150,000 euros”† According to them, his motive was: “unconditional friendship” that he “carried to Karim Zenati”.
Karim Benzema, who has to pay 80,000 euros for non-material damage to Mr Valbuena, should not be the only defendant to appear this summer: Karim Zenati has appealed civil interests and could also be present at the hearing.
This will take place just after the French team’s matches scheduled for the League of Nations in June. It will be held more than four months before the World Cup in Qatar (from November 21 to December 18). At the age of 34, Karim Benzema was able to play his last World Cup with the Blues in the emirate. He was suspended in December 2015 by Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), over this affair, and subsequently suspended by coach Didier Deschamps until Euro 2021.
If by chance the star’s first-instance conviction was confirmed by the Court of Appeal of Versailles, this decision should not have any sporting consequences. In November 2021, as soon as the verdict of the judges of Versailles was known, Mr Le Graët . reiterated The team † “This sanction doesn’t change anything for me. † It is selectable† He has the right to work. You can make a mistake, get a suspended sentence and go back to work. †
However, a new verdict by the Versailles court of appeals would make the atmosphere around the Blues and their striker more difficult for the planetary tournament, in which Didier Deschamps players will try to keep their title.