Blackmail process for French sex videos begins – sport news football96

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is on trial in France for trying to blackmail soccer player Mathieu Valbuena for a sex video found on his cell phone.

He ridiculed the charges against him as a “masquerade” and did not appear in Versailles court.

The case dates back to June 2015 when the two footballers were at a French training camp.

The saga rocked French football and both players lost their team seats.

Karim Benzema, 33, has since returned to the French national team and scored in Kiev on Tuesday in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League win.

He is on trial with four other men accused of trying to blackmail Mr Valbuena, who told the court on Wednesday that football was his life.

“I knew if this video came out it would make things difficult with the French team,” he said.

The sextape case started in 2015 when Mr Valbuena, now 37, asked a man in Marseille, Axel Angot, to upload the contents of his cellphone to a new device.

Mr. Angot found sexually explicit material over the phone and he and another defendant in the trial, Mustapha Zouaoui, are charged with trying to blackmail Mr. Valbuena by threatening to publish the tape.

Mr. Zouaoui told reporters that he shared the tape, but that there was never any attempt to extort money.

Mathieu Valbuena described being approached by another defendant, Younes Houass, who then told the court that the player was acting like nothing was wrong and that he had warned him of the seriousness of the problem without asking for money.

When the footballer went to the police, an undercover agent named Luka was hired to negotiate for him.

The defendants are charged with approaching a childhood friend of Mr Benzema’s named Karim Zenati.

Then, in October 2015, the Real Madrid striker turned to his French compatriot in his room at the national team’s training camp.

Mr Benzema said he was merely trying to help his teammate get rid of the compromising video and warned him, “Be careful Math, they’re big, big thugs.”

Then he offered to get in touch with someone he could trust – his childhood friend, Mr. Zenati.

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The police meanwhile tapped their phone calls and recorded how Mr. Benzema said to his childhood friend: “He doesn’t take us seriously.”

Mr. Zenati is said to have replied: “We are here to clarify this. If he doesn’t want that, he’ll have to deal with the piranhas.”

In the meantime, Mr Valbuena is said to have already told his family about the recordings on his cell phone.

Mathieu Valbuena testified at the beginning of the trial that he had never thought of handing over any money to prevent the video from being published.

Defense attorneys have already argued that the police wrongly used an undercover agent and that the agent pressured the defendants to demand money. However, the lawyers’ objections to police methods were rejected by French courts in 2018.

The trial will last until the end of the week, four defendants will be charged with attempted extortion and Karim Benzema will be charged with complicity.

The maximum penalty for complicity in attempted extortion is five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros.

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