Karim Benzema faces up to FIVE YEARS in prison as trial over alleged sex tape begins

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema faces up to FIVE YEARS in prison if found guilty of attempted blackmail of former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena as trial over alleged sex tape scandal begins today

  • Karim Benzema begins trial over alleged sex tape blackmail of Mathieu Valbuena
  • Benzema is charged with complicity in the attempted blackmail of Valbuena
  • It is alleged the striker encouraged Valbuena to pay a group of alleged blackmailers in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye
  • Benzema has denied wrongdoing and his lawyer says the case is ‘absurd’
  • The French forward faces up to five years in jail and a £63,000 fine if convicted 

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema goes on trial in France on Wednesday charged with complicity in the attempted blackmail of former international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

Investigators allege that Benzema encouraged Valbuena to pay a group of alleged blackmailers in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye.

Benzema has denied wrongdoing and his lawyer has described the case against the player as ‘absurd’.

Benzema and Valbuena lost their places in France’s national team in the wake of the scandal, dubbed the ‘sex tape affair’.

Karim Benzema (pictured) begins his trial over alleged sex tape blackmail of Mathieu Valbuena

Investigators allege that Benzema (right) encouraged Valbuena (left) to pay a group of alleged blackmailers in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye

Investigators allege that Benzema (right) encouraged Valbuena (left) to pay a group of alleged blackmailers in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye 

Benzema was recalled to the France squad for this year’s European Championship and the trial comes at a time when the 33-year-old striker is shining for club and country.

Prosecutors say Valbuena received a first call threatening to expose the sex tape in early June 2015 while at the French squad’s training centre in Clairefontaine, west of Paris.

The anonymous caller said he wanted to ‘come to an arrangement’ with Valbuena and told him to name an intermediary.

Prosecutors allege Benzema was recruited by the alleged blackmailers to convince his team-mate to pay up.

Benzema and Valbuena lost their places in France's national team in the wake of the scandal

Benzema and Valbuena lost their places in France’s national team in the wake of the scandal

Benzema is accused of complicity to attempted blackmail. His four co-accused face charges of attempted blackmail.

The Real Madrid forward faces up to five years in jail and a £63,000 (€75,000) fine if convicted.

Benzema may not attend the first day of the trial after he travelled to Ukraine where he played in his club’s Champions League group stage match against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

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