The The Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Versailles requested this Thursday a sentence of 10 months in jail exempt from compliance for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema for complicity in the blackmail of his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a video of a sexual nature. Benzema was the only one of the five defendants who did not appear at the oral hearing, based on his sports obligations. The Madrid player was charged in this case for a conversation he had with Valbuena in which he alerted him of the consequences of not responding to the threats of the blackmailers, which made the former Olympique de Marseille player suspect that he was involved in the plot. As reported The Parisian, the Prosecutor’s Office has also requested a € 75,000 fine.
If the court’s sentence coincides with the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, Benzema would only have to enter prison in case of recidivism. The Madrid player was the one with the best standing out of the requisition among the five defendants, since he is also the only one who is not charged with the blackmail charge. The Prosecutor’s Office only accuses him of complicity, since it takes for granted that his objective was not to profit. For the rest, the Public Ministry requested penalties of between 4 years in prison and 18 months, as well as much lower fines than that requested against Benzema.
The prosecutor, Julien Eyraud, assured that his request for penalties is ranked according to the involvement in the blackmail plot of each of them, but also because of its social dimension and its personality. In the case of the Madrid attacker, he acknowledged that “he is not just anyone” and that “without his presence, this case would not have gained so much dimension.” “He is the bearer of an image, of a hope for many, of a celebrity. Of all those values. Like every public person, like every star. His public performances, his charitable acts contrast with helping his friend in an attempt to blackmail”, he claimed.
Ségolène Mares, another representative of the Public Ministry, explained that Benzema had a role within the team that was set up to blackmail Valbuena, that of a person with hierarchy within the selection who sought to pressure the victim. “He is not the Good Samaritan who comes to help his partner, he is an accomplice who seeks to help blackmailers”, assured. The highest sentence requested was for Mustapha Zouaoui, considered “the engine of the plot”, the ideologist of a strategy in which he embarked the rest of the accused, including Benzema indirectly through his friend Karim Zenati. For him, who has a record, he asked for seven years in prison and a 15,000-euro fine. For Axel Angot, the man who acquired the sex video with which they tried to blackmail Valbuena and the only one who acknowledged the penalty, asked for 18 months in prison and a 15,000-euro fine. The prosecutor requested 18 months in prison and a 5,000-euro fine for Younes Houass, the intermediary used to contact Valbuena, and 2 years in prison and 5,000 euros for Zenati.
“It is inexplicable that Benzema is charged”
The second day of the hearing for the so-called Valbuena Case had as its main protagonist Mustapha Zouaoui, considered as the hypothetical intellectual author of the alleged attempt to blackmail Valbuena for a video with sexual content in 2015. “Frankly I’m sorry, I tell you clearly, what I did to you is not right. I tell you, you would kick me, that would be normal, you don’t deserve to be there, “Zouaoui told Valbuena, although he has insisted that his goal was not to get money. “It is not the same to make fun of him to ask for money, there are two worlds; he would never have wanted to hurt Valbuena,” he says.
Benzema is charged with allegedly trying to help Valbuena by offering the help of a mediator between him and the blackmailers. “This matter, from day one, has had an enormous repercussion. The judicial information was produced by leaks in the press. The participation of Benzema was learned more from the press than from Valbuena himself. It has repercussion. Beyond that, It is a case in which Benzema has always remembered his total innocence and does not get directly involved in the exchanges that concern the other defendants. His voice is easy to hear: he intervened in a single conversation with Mr. Valbuena to offer, if he so desired, freely and without compensation, to try to prevent this from coming out. sextape. His presence is a bit inexplicable “, explained Maître Antoine Vey, Karim Benzema’s lawyer, on BFMTV. The forward is represented at the trial by his lawyer.
“The forward is kept informed of the process. He claimed a professional reason (for not going to trial). He could have asked for a remission of this judgment in view of his obligations, but the court wanted this debate to be able to take place. During the entire judicial investigation, requests had been made to be able to be confronted with Mathieu Valbuena, these requests were systematically rejected for not contributing anything since we have two different feelings. Today the trial is taking place and he remains informed, “explains Benzema’s lawyer. The sentence of the case could be known on Friday. Besides Benzema, there are four other defendants.