Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema, will face trial for complicity in an attempt to blackmail in a case linked to a sex tape featuring Mathieu Valbuena, his former France team-mate.
The French prosecutor’s office in Versailles, France said on Thursday that the trial was ordered against Benzema for complicity in attempting to pressure Valbuena, who was allegedly threatened in a phone call in June 2015, with the publication of the video.
The prosecutor’s office said Benzema would stand trial on the charge of conspiracy to attempt blackmail.
Four other persons will also stand trial in the case.
However, a date for the trial has yet to be fixed.
Benzema has been banned from the France national team since November 2015 because of his alleged involvement in the scandal.
The investigators who charged Benzema believe the forward was approached by a childhood friend in 2015 to act as an intermediary and convince Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers.
But instead, Valbuena informed the police.
Benzema, 33, denies any wrongdoing.
“This decision is as absurd as it was predictable,” Benzema’s lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, told the Associated Press news agency, denouncing perceived “persecution” against the former Lyon player.
Meanwhile, neither Benzema nor Valbuena was selected by France coach, Didier Deschamps, for the Euro 2016 finals on home soil in which France was beaten in the final by Cristiano Ronaldo led-Portugal team.
Benzema’s last appearance for France was in their 4-0 win over Armenia in October 2015.
He netted a brace in that match, taking his tally to 27 goals in 81 internationals for France.
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