Benzema found guilty of conspiring to blackmail Valbuena in sex tape case

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Karim Benzema has been given a one-year suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of conspiring to blackmail former teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

The France and Real Madrid striker was also ordered to pay a fine of €75,000 (£63,000), but will appeal.

The episode saw Benzema get banned from the French national team for almost five years

The episode saw Benzema get banned from the French national team for almost five years

Benzema was put on trial last month over the attempt to extort money from ex-France teammate Valbuena in 2015 by pressuring him to pay blackmailers, who threatened to reveal an intimate video.

Four other men, who were found to have been directly involved, have been handed sanctions ranging from 18-month suspended sentences to two-and-a-half years in jail.

Benzema, who was absent from the trial, had denied any wrongdoing.

He was banned from the national team in November 2015 because of his suspected involvement in the scandal but was recalled for last summer’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

Benzema has been found guilty of conspiring to blackmail Valbuena (right)

AFP

Benzema has been found guilty of conspiring to blackmail Valbuena (right)

French federation president Noel Le Graet has already said the 33-year-old would be allowed to continue playing for France, even if found guilty.

Benzema’s lawyers have said he will appeal the verdict.

The forward, who has scored 36 goals in 94 appearances for his country, is expected to start on Wednesday evening when Real Madrid play Moldovan club FC Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League.

Attacking midfielder Valbuena currently represents Greek club Olympiacos.

The 37-year-old won 52 France caps between 2010 and 2015, including playing alongside Benzema at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup.

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