Benzema found guilty, handed 12-month suspended jail term in sex-tape trial


France striker, Karim Benzema, has been found guilty in the attempted blackmail of former teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

Benzema has now been handed a one-year suspended prison sentence and a €75,000 fine for his involvement.

His lawyer told journalists on Wednesday the player will appeal the verdict.

The judgment from a court in Versailles brings an end to a legal saga dating back to 2015, which saw Benzema exiled from the France national team for almost six years.

Benzema did not attend the three-day trial last month. His lawyer cited professional reasons, with the 33-year-old in training with Real Madrid ahead of their El Clasico clash with Barcelona.

The case involved a sexually explicit video, which prosecutors said another defendant, Axel Angot, discovered on Valbuena’s mobile phone after he had been asked to transfer its contents to a new device.

Angot and a third defendant, Mustapha Zouaoui, tried to use the video to extort money from Valbuena, who was then playing for Lyon and France. They enlisted another defendant, Youness Houass, before eventually turning to Karim Zenati, a childhood friend of Benzema, who prosecutors said recruited the forward as a “middleman.” Valbuena contacted the police, who began a sting operation.

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