Published On: Tue, Jul 11th, 2017

Benzema receives backing from French court over sex-tape scandal

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Reuters / Juan Medina Livepic

Support from France’s highest judicial court – the Court of Cassation – could see Karim Benzema absolved from claims that he aided an attempted blackmail of former international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

Benzema, 29, was accused of acting as an intermediary for blackmailers who obtained a sex tape featuring Valbuena. Benzema’s appeal to have the case dropped was rejected by the Appeal Court last December, but Tuesday’s backing from another court gives the Real Madrid striker hope of ending a scandal which began when he was arrested in November 2015.

“It’s definitely a big victory,” lawyer Patrice Spinosi told France Info, according to BBC News, declaring it a turning point in the investigation.

The prestigious Court of Cassation’s decision will force Benzema’s plea to be heard again by the Court of Appeal’s examining chamber, and BBC News understands it will have no choice but to throw out the case. Still, this eventuality could be months away.

(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

When blackmailers contacted Valbuena to inform him that they’d got hold of a sex tape, he was asked to appoint a middle-man to negotiate the video not being made public. A police officer, given the false name Lukas, was drafted in as the go-between by Valbuena.

A childhood friend of Benzema’s was asked for help by the blackmailers to strike a deal with Valbuena, and it was then that Benzema allegedly urged Valbuena to pay up while both were with the French national team in October 2015.

Benzema’s lawyer Spinosi alleges that the police officer worked hard in trying to find an agreement between the blackmailers and Valbuena, and that no criminal proceedings would’ve occurred without his dishonesty.

Since Benzema was taken in for questioning over 20 months ago, neither he or Valbuena have represented their country. Benzema is still on the books of Real Madrid, while the alleged 32-year-old victim switched Lyon for Fenerbahce of the Turkish Super Lig in June.

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