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Sunday, 23 February 2020

Benzema to learn if sextape case dropped

AFP , Thursday 15 Dec 2016
Benzema
Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema is suspected of acting as an intermediary between the presumed blackmailers including one of his childhood friends and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena (Photo: AFP)
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A French court will Friday rule on a request by Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema to drop the investigation into alleged blackmail over a sextape featuring international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

Djibril Cisse, the former Liverpool and Marseille striker, could however be dragged into the investigation with prosecutors calling for him to be formally charged.

The scandal cost Benzema a place in France's Euro 2016 squad on home soil this year and he is yet to return to the international fold.

Investigators suspect 28-year-old Benzema of acting as an intermediary between the presumed blackmailers -- including one of his childhood friends -- and Lyon midfielder Valbuena.

Benzema and three of the other suspects have asked for the case against them to be dropped.

They say police used "dishonest" methods by posing as a friend of Valbuena's in a telephone conversation with one of the accused.

Cisse meanwhile is said to have informed Valbuena that "rumours" were circulating about the existence of the sextape.

The 35-year-old was arrested in the investigation in 2015 but was released without charge.

He said in a TV interview at the time that he had only been arrested "so the investigators could hear my side of the story. I never swindled anyone -- Mathieu is a friend".

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