Real Madrid forward Benzema faces verdict in blackmail trial




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. The Real Madrid and France forward Karim Benzema will stand trial from Wednesday Oct.20, 2021 in Versailles, accused of involvement in an alleged blackmail case. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort, File)

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

Benzema hasn’t been attending the trial that opened Wednesday in Versailles and is scheduled to wrap 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 Thursday that Benzema be fined 75,000 euros ($87,000), the maximum allowed on the charge, and be given a suspended 10-month jail term. The law allows for a maximum of 5 years imprisonment.

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

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