A French courtroom on Wednesday gave Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema a one-year suspended sentence for complicity in a bid to blackmail his former France team-mate, Mathieu Valbuena, with a intercourse tape.
The sentence was harder than that sought by prosecutors in opposition to the 33-year-old participant over the 2015 extortion try, which led Benzema to be solid out of the France crew for five-and-a-half years.
Benzema was not in courtroom within the Paris suburb of Versailles for the decision, which comes hours earlier than Real Madrid tackle Sheriff Tiraspol in a Champions League sport in Moldova.
His defence crew instantly introduced plans for an attraction.
Speaking to reporters on the courthouse, certainly one of his attorneys, Sylvain Cormier, stated he was “quite stunned by the ruling”.
The prosecution had known as for Benzema, who was certainly one of 5 folks charged over an affair that rocked the French nationwide crew, to be given a 10-month suspended sentence.
Benzema didn’t attend his trial final month, citing skilled commitments.
The verdict isn’t anticipated to break his profession, with French soccer federation president Noel Le Graet saying he may hold his place in Les Bleus even when convicted and Real Madrid additionally remaining supportive of their star participant.
But Benzema’s conviction nonetheless solid a pall over his gorgeous comeback to the nationwide crew earlier this 12 months after a years-long absence.
Benzema has scored 9 occasions since being recalled by France supervisor Didier Deschamps for the Euro 2020 finals — delayed by a 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic — making him the fifth-highest scorer within the historical past of Les Bleus.