The Paris Appeal Court will have another look at the case surrounding Real Madrid and France player Karim Benzema for his alleged role in the blackmail of fellow Frenchman Mathieu Valbuena on October, reports news agency AFP quoting sources.
There has been no hearing into the case since July 2017 when France’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, annuled a Versailles Court of Appeal decision to send the striker Benzema to trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail Valbuena over a sex tape and ordered the Paris court to review the original ruling.
The case began in June 2015 when Valbuena received a call from a blackmailer who threatened to publicise an intimate video. The footballer contacted the police who assigned an undercover officer to investigate the case. The investigators accused Benzema of acting as an intermediary between the presumed blackmailers and Valbuena.
Following the allegations and with the case underway, Benzema was dropped from the France squad for Euro 2016 and has not been recalled since, including in recent World Cup winning exploits in Russia.
Benzema and three of the other suspects in the case had asked for the case against them to be dropped. They’ve claimed that police used “dishonest” means by posing as Valbuena’s friend in a telephonic conversation with one of the accused people and urged to pay ransom.
An appeal made to the Court of Appeal in Versailles failed in December 2016 but Court of Cassation then annulled that decision and instructed the Paris Court of Appeal to hear the case again. The Court of Cassation had questioned the legal validity of the phone recordings which were central to the case made against Benzema and the other suspects.