The public prosecutor requested sentences ranging from 18 months suspended prison sentences to up to four years in prison for the other four convicts.
The star, returning to the “Rooster” team, which played on Tuesday evening in Ukraine with Real Madrid in the Champions League, was not present in Versailles on Wednesday and Thursday during the sessions.
Benzema is accused of inciting Valbuena to pay a sum of money to the blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video of the latter, and the former admitted his intervention in the matter at the request of one of the blackmailers. Benzema has long denied the allegations, saying he had tried to help Valbuena out of the situation, not to entrap him.
“Benzema is not a good person who tried to help. He worked to allow the negotiators to reach their goal and for the blackmailers to get the money,” Prosecutor Segolene Mar told the court. She also asked for a fine of 75,000 euros.
The two players have been excluded from the “rooster” team since late 2015 before Benzema returned to the European Cup this summer, when the world champions were eliminated from the 16th round against Switzerland, before they achieved about ten days ago the European Nations League title at the expense of Spain in the final led by Benzema. Valbuena was not summoned again.
“I was afraid for my sporting career, for the France national team,” Valbuena said in his testimony on the day the trial opened on Wednesday. “I knew that if the video materials were published, it would be difficult for me in the national team and that’s what happened later.”
And the Greek Olympiacos player added that his selection for the national team is the “holy grail of players”, and that “I did not imagine” the involvement of a colleague in a conspiracy against him.
The 37-year-old continued, stressing that Benzema was “insisting on making me meet someone”, and admitted that his colleague was not aggressive and did not mention the money, but “when you solve a problem like this (…) it is not for tickets to the football match.”
The file is based in particular on a discussion in October 2015 between the two men at Clairefontaine, the Roosters training center, during which Benzema allegedly made it clear that he could introduce Valbuena to a “reliable person”, according to the latter at the hearing, to help him “deal”. With any possible publication of the tape.
Benzema claimed at the time that he intervened with Valbuena at the request of a childhood friend of his, who was resorted to by the blackmailers who had the tape.
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