Prosecutors seek fine for Benzema in French blackmail trial

VERSAILLES, France (AP) — A French court trying an alleged blackmail case involving Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema and four other defendants will render its verdict on Nov. 24.

Benzema, who denies wrongdoing, didn’t attend the trial this week in Versailles that wrapped up Friday. He is charged with complicity in the alleged attempt in 2015 to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape thought to have been stolen from his mobile phone.

Prosecutors asked that Benzema be fined 75,000 euros ($87,000), the maximum allowed on the charge, and be given a suspended 10-month jail term if found guilty. The law allows for a maximum of five years imprisonment.

The four other defendants were being tried on charges of attempted blackmail.

The defense, in closing arguments on Friday, tried to outline the lack of intent from most of the defendants to extort money and to threaten Valbuena.

FILE – In this Oct.3, 2021 file photo, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema reacts during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between RCD Espanyol and Real Madrid at the Cornella-El Prat stadium in Barcelona, Spain. A French court trying an alleged blackmail case involving Karim Benzema and four other defendants expects to render its verdict on Friday Oct.22, 2021, with the prosecution asking for a suspended 10-month jail term and maximum fine for the Real Madrid forward. Benzema is charged of complicity in the alleged attempt in 2015 to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape thought to have been stolen from his mobile phone. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort, File)

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