4 of Benzema’s co-defendants within the trial have been additionally discovered responsible, with three of them receiving jail sentences.
Tewfik Bouzenoun, lawyer for defendant Younes Houass — who was handed an 18-month suspended sentence — instructed Muricas Information that his consumer was “manipulated.”
“He by no means engaged in blackmail or try and blackmail as he by no means requested for cash. He by no means had a monetary request,” Bouzenoun instructed Muricas Information in an announcement.
“I feel the verdicts are much less extreme than these requested by the prosecutor, I see leniency and clemency in them.”
Muricas Information is trying to contact the legal professionals of the opposite co-defendants.
Among the many recordsdata transferred from Valbuena’s faulty cellphone in 2014 by Axel Angot was a video containing sexual content material involving Valbuena.
Nearly a yr later, Angot, with the help of others, tried to make use of the intercourse tape to blackmail the footballer, in response to an announcement from the Versailles courtroom that convicted Benzema.
The boys trying to blackmail Valbuena additionally reached out to a different former French worldwide, Djibril Cisse, who, like Benzema, has performed for a few of Europe’s main golf equipment, in an try and persuade Valbuena to pay.
Nonetheless, Cisse refused to help, in response to the courtroom paperwork.
So the blackmailers turned to Benzema, who was a childhood buddy of one in all them — Karim Zenati — to attempt to persuade Valbuena to pay.
In handing down its judgment, the courtroom dominated that Benzema, by “falsely presenting himself as a buddy wishing to assist his teammate,” used his skilled stature and lies to persuade Valbuena to “undergo blackmail by paying a sum of cash and to contact for this objective his buddy Karim Zenati who was the one one able to assist him.”
After Wednesday’s verdict, Benzema’s authorized crew stated the Actual Madrid star could be cleared “within the courtroom of attraction.”
“It was clearly introduced by the courtroom that Karim Benzema was not conscious of the prior machinations after which in the long run they stated that ‘he can’t, not have recognized,’ with none proof,” one in all Benzema’s legal professionals, Sylvain Cormier, stated exterior the courtroom.
“They’ve condemned him with a really extreme, unjust sentence with out proof. I am fairly shocked by this ruling,” added Cormier.
The courtroom assertion stated Benzema and Valbuena weren’t associates earlier than this incident. The 33-year-old Actual Madrid star did not even have Valbuena’s cellphone quantity, in response to the courtroom.
Benzema lied about his assembly with Mustapha Zouaoui, who the courtroom referred to as the mastermind behind the blackmail, when he was first questioned by investigators, the paperwork stated. He was doing so to guard Zenati, Benzema’s childhood buddy and worker, in response to the courtroom assertion.
Benzema insisted that Valbuena ought to meet with Zenati. The Actual Madrid participant instructed Valbuena, who now performs for Greek membership Olympiacos, that the folks in possession of the tape have been from main crime teams from the southern French metropolis of Marseille and suggested him in opposition to going to the police or his lawyer.
Benzema even swore “on the top of his daughter” to Valbuena that there would not be any copies of the intercourse tape, the courtroom findings stated.
Valbuena discovered “that the purpose of the maneuver was to extract a sum of cash from him with a view to forestall the video from being made public,” the courtroom stated within the assertion.
The courtroom acknowledged that Benzema might not have been conscious of the behind-the-scene maneuvers that have been taking place, however acknowledged that he was personally concerned in utilizing “subterfuge and lies” to “persuade his teammate [Valbuena] to undergo blackmail and to contact for this objective his trusted man, on this case Karim Zenati.”
The courtroom made this judgement primarily based on the content material of Benzema’s dialogue with Valbuena on October 6, 2015, within the Parisian suburb of Clairefontaine — the location of the French Nationwide Group’s coaching floor — which he recounted to Zenati instantly afterward.
The recorded phone conversations between Benzema and Zenati, which have been performed on the trial, didn’t display any good will towards Valbuena and “proves the existence of an try and blackmail led by the duo,” the assertion stated.
The French Soccer Federation stated it had no assertion on the case when requested by Muricas Information however its president, Noël Le Graët, clarified that Benzema is “nonetheless a participant for the France crew. This choice would not change something for us.”
Actual Madrid declined to touch upon the case when requested by Muricas Information.
Valbuena’s lawyer, Paul-Albert Iweins, additionally declined to touch upon Benzema’s sentence.
Afterward Wednesday, Benzema performed and scored in Actual Madrid’s Champions League victory in opposition to Sheriff Tiraspol.