The infamous blackmail case that resulted in Karim Benzema being dropped from the France squad for six years is set to go to court this week, and the Real Madrid star could be set for some time in prison.
The 33-year-old will be facing charges of complicity in blackmail on Wednesday, with prosecutors having requested a five-year prison sentence if the player is found guilty by the court.
The charges come after his former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena was reportedly blackmailed over a sex tape six years ago, with it being alleged that Benzema acted as an intermediary between him and a group of blackmailers.
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Per the Daily Mirror, Valbuena asked Axel Angot, who is known for fixing technical problems on computers and phones, if he could rescue the video from a broken mobile device.
It is alleged that Angot then created a plan to obtain money from the winger, with Benzema eventually becoming involved and reportedly acting as an intermediary.
Four other men are also on trial along with the striker, who is said to have tried to get the Olympiacos star to match the blackmailers' demands, although it is understood that the player will not be present in court on Wednesday.
As the case gained more coverage at the time, both players were subsequently excluded from the national team set-up in 2015, with Benzema having only returned to the Les Bleus fold earlier this year.
"The decision to bring him to trial is an absurd and unfair cruelty," the Los Blancos star's lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, told the Efe agency earlier this year, per Marca.
"Benzema has nothing to reproach himself with in this summary."
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