Karim Benzema could face trial over Mathieu Valbuena scandal
Trouble continues to brew for Real Madrid’s French striker Karim Benzema as a French court rejected his appeal to halt the trial being conducted over his involvement in the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape case. The French striker is under trial for allegedly being an intermediary in the plan to blackmail his fellow France international over the sex tape which involved footage of the midfielder recorded on a mobile phone.
Benzema’s name had cropped up in the investigation during phone taps which had been conducted as part of the police enquiry in July last year. The Frenchman, along with three other alleged accomplices had appealed to the Versailles appeal court to drop investigations against them as the police had obtained evidence using dishonest methods by posing as a friend of Valbuena during a phone call with the blackmailers.
Although Benzema has denied any wrongdoing in the case, the appeal being struck down by the court could now result in a formal investigation being conducted against the French striker.
Djibril Cisse’s appeal
In another development related to the case, the Versailles appeal court also upturned an earlier court decision in favour of former France and Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse regarding his involvement in the case after the public prosecutor’s appeal to place Cisse under formal investigation earlier had been rejected.
Cisse had apparently helped blackmailers in their attempt to deceive Valbuena by telling him about rumours that a sex tape featuring him was in existence. Cisse was arrested for his connection to the case in 2015 but was later released without charge. He had later claimed in a television interview that he had been arrested only so that investigators could hear his side of the story. He had added that he had never cheated anyone and that Mathieu Valbuena was a good friend of his.
Benzema has lost his place as the French national team’s star striker to Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann but France national team coach Didier Deschamps has not ruled out a return to the French setup for the Real Madrid man.
The striker is currently representing Real Madrid at the Club World Cup tournament in Japan where he scored in their 2-0 win over Club America in the semi-finals of the tournament. They will now face Kashima Antlers of Japan in the finals of the tournament.