The absence of Karim Benzema marked this Wednesday on the opening of the trial for blackmail in 2015 to Mathieu Valbuena with a sexual video, in which the Real Madrid player is accused of complicity, a crime punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a 75,000 euro fine.
The Madrid forward was the only one of the five accused who did not travel until Versalles, on the outskirts of Paris, to defend himself from the accusations in the trial, which he did attend Valbuena, who insisted on implicating his partner in the French team in the case
The former player of the Marsella Olympic, currently at Olympiakos, considered it “a shame” that Benzema was not present and his lawyer even assured that the madridista “fears” a confrontation with his client.
The lawyers of the madridista pretexted the sporting commitments of the forward, last night in Champions in Ukraine and next Sunday against the Barcelona, and the president of the court accepted the absence.
But on several occasions he regretted not being able to question Benzema, in particular about the conversation he had on October 6, 2015 with Valbuena during a concentration of the French team.
That dialogue, in which the madridista recommended that his teammate contact his childhood friend Karim Zenati to solve the blackmail to which he was being subjected, is at the base of the accusation against Benzema.
One of the Madridista’s lawyers, Sylvain Cormier, affirmed in declarations after the session of today that “Valbuena speaks from the resentment”, since it did not return to the national team while Benzema “flies over current football”, since he is one of the candidates for Golden Ball and has returned to the French team.
Valbuena, current player of the Olimpiacos Greek, insisted that he felt that after their conversation the Madrid forward was involved in blackmail and denied the thesis shown by Benzema during the instruction that his only intention was to help you. “If he wanted to help me and he had a friend of the soul who could do it, he just had to ask him to destroy the video,” Valbuena said, harassed by questions from Benzema’s lawyers.
For them, the madridista had no reason to harm Valbuena and they questioned whether that conversation was, as interpreted by the former Marseille player, to intimidate him. “We are lucky to have his testimony, not Benzema’s,” insisted the president of the court, Christophe Morgan.
Antoine Vey, another of Benzema’s lawyers, recalled that during the investigation phase they demanded on many occasions a confrontation with Valbuena, which the judge rejected when considering that it was a matter of facing two different impressions about the same conversation.
The doubts will persist, because Benzema Nor does he plan to attend the two days remaining for the oral hearing, in which the court will continue to question the other defendants and analyze the hundreds of conversations intercepted by the police.
Based on them, both the president of the court, the prosecution and the private prosecution put the other four defendants on the ropes.
Starting by Axel Angot, IT expert who got hold of the sexually content video during a phone repair on Valbuena’s cell phone in 2014 and decided to keep it. “Stupid,” he confessed to the court.
When a year later he was pressed into debt, he remembered owning the video. His version is that he did not blackmail Valbuena, Instead, he tried to make him see that the video existed so that the footballer would ask him to eliminate it and, in return, reward him.
A version that was battered by the interrogation and the intervened conversations, to the point that the defendant ended up confessing that “indirectly” it was blackmail.
Angot went to Mustapha Zouaoui, known for selling luxury goods to footballers, who came into contact with Younes Houass, a person who had had contact with Valbuena in the past.
It was the latter who contacted the footballer directly to warn him of the existence of the video. As the player did not react, the blackmailers went to a friend of Benzema, Karim Zenati, for the madridista to intervene.
The defendants assured that at no time did they intend to blackmail Valbuena, their objective was to get their favors in exchange for preventing the video from being posted. But the phone records and some statements during the investigation called into question that goodwill.