The case against Real Madrid star Karim Benzema for his alleged role in the blackmail of fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena is set to be re-examined by the Paris Appeal Court on October 4.
The hearing has been awaited since July 2017 when France’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, overruled a Versailles Court of Appeal decision to send Benzema to trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail Valbuena over a sex tape and ordered the Paris court to review the original ruling.
The affair began in June 2015 when Valbuena received a call from a blackmailer who threatened to release an intimate video.
Valbuena contacted the police who assigned an undercover officer to the case.
Investigators accused Benzema of acting as an intermediary between the presumed blackmailers and Lyon midfielder Valbuena.
The Madrid star and three of the other suspects had asked for the case against them to be dropped.
They allege that the police used “dishonest” methods by posing as a friend of Valbuena’s in a telephone conversation with one of the accused and urging the payment of a ransom.
An appeal to the Court of Appeal in Versailles in December 2016 failed, but the Court of Cassation then overruled that decision and mandated the Paris Court of Appeal to hear the case again.
The Court of Cassation questioned the legal validity of the recordings of phone conversations which were central to the case against Benzema and the other suspects.
According to a source, the case would be “greatly weakened” but not necessarily completely annulled.