Karim Benzema withdraws his appeal, epilogue after six years of proceedings

saying to themselves ” exhausted “ by the procedure, Karim Benzema will not appeal in the case of the “sextape”where he was sentenced at first instance to a one-year suspended prison sentence, his lawyer announced on Saturday June 4 in the newspaper The Team.

“This withdrawal endorses a decision of conviction and apparently guilt. It is a legal truth. But that’s not the reality.”commented M.e Hugues Vigier with the sports daily. This reversal makes final the sentence pronounced at first instance, in November 2021, against the French center-forward of Real Madrid. He had been sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros for complicity in attempted blackmail against his former teammate in the France team, Mathieu Valbuena. The withdrawal order will be notified to the parties on Tuesday by the Versailles Court of Appeal.

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The 34-year-old was the only one of the five convicted of attempted blackmail or complicity to have appealed his criminal sanction. He was to be retried on June 30 and 1er July before the 9e Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles. In its judgment, the Versailles Criminal Court had estimated that the footballer had “personally involved, at the cost of subterfuge and lies, to convince his teammate to submit to blackmail”. The attacker did not show “of no benevolence towards Mathieu Valbuena, quite the contrary”, and acted “with a certain excitement, even a certain jubilation”added its president.

International career stopped

This renunciation puts an end to one of the most publicized extra-sporting cases of recent years. Six and a half years have passed since the events, which occurred in the middle of a French team rally at the Clairefontaine training center (Yvelines) in October 2015, when Benzema exchanged with his teammate about a compromising video.

The case will have stretched until the trial held in Versailles in the fall of 2021, in the presence of Valbuena but in the absence of Benzema, held back by his busy schedule at Real Madrid, according to his advice. The impact of this file will have stopped the rise of the French international, who remained away from the Blues for more than five years, before making a surprise return to Didier Deschamps’ team before Euro 2021.

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Benzema, who has always claimed his innocence in this affair, is now one of the indisputable executives of the tricolor selection, which is challenging his title of world champion in November, in Qatar. On several occasions, Benzema had expressed his wish to see this judicial page turned as soon as possible. When the dates of his trial for “complicity in attempted blackmail”the player reacted on Instagram as follows: “Here’s finally vamonos [on y va]may the masquerade be extinguished forever”.

The announcement of this renunciation comes only a few hours after a match of the Blues, lost 2-1 against Denmark in Saint-Denis, with a goal from… Benzema, recent winner of his 5e Champions League and big favorite for the Ballon d’Or, the supreme individual award in football.

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The World with AFP

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