PARIS (REUTERS) – Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will face trial after prosecutors accused him of being involved in a conspiracy to extort his former French teammate Matthieu Valbuena in a sex tape-related case, his lawyer said on Thursday (January 7th)).
Investigators said Benzema, who has not played for Les Bleus since October 2015, asked Valbuena to pay blackmailers to keep the tape from being published.
Benzema has denied wrongdoing and a trial date has not yet been set.
“Unfortunately, we are not surprised by this decision, which is as absurd as expected,” Benzema’s lawyer Sylvain Cormier told Reuters.
“I am dismayed to find that one is being forced to skew the elements gathered in the investigation to justify sending my client to the tribunal.
“We will speak to the judges of the tribunal to demonstrate this abuse.”
The 33-year-old Benzema has scored 261 goals in 533 games with Real Madrid and scored 27 goals in 81 games for France.