Karim Benzema to stand trial over alleged involvement in blackmail sex tape case
Benzema maintains that he played no part in the attempted blackmail
Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema is to face trial over his alleged involvement in an attempted blackmail case, linked to a sex tape featuring former teammate, Mathieu Valbuena.
The 33-year-old is accused of paying individuals to extort money from Valbuena by threatening to release the video to the public.
Reports first surfaced about the allegations in 2015. With the two players part of the France national team at the time, the French Football Federation took the decision to suspend Benzema from playing for his country. He has not played for France since.
Prosecutors in France made the announcement that the footballer would face trial on Thursday, as was reported by AFP News Agency.
Sylvain Cormier, Benzema's legal representative, is also quoted by AFP as describing the decision to take the matter to trial as being "as absurd as it was predictable".
The former Lyon striker has always maintained he had no involvement in the attempted blackmail. Cormier said on his behalf at the time: "He took no part, I state this again - no part - in the blackmail or blackmail attempts."
Exiled from his national side ever since the matter first came to light, Benzema continues to play for Real Madrid. Valbuena had been playing for Lyon when reports first surfaced about the affair but is now plying his trade in Greece with Olympiakos.