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Karim Benzema's lawyers want confrontation hearing with team-mate Valbuena

Published 08/12/2015

Karim Benzema has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail
Karim Benzema has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail

Football star Karim Benzema's lawyers have issued a request for a confrontation hearing between the Real Madrid striker and Mathieu Valbuena in the sex tape case involving the France team-mates.

Benzema, who has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape featuring Valbuena, has no right to meet the Lyon player during the investigation after he was placed under judicial supervision.

The investigating judge has a month to consider the lawyers' request.

French football federation president Noel Le Graet is expected to address the case on Thursday at a press conference.

Benzema, who is suspected of having pressured Valbuena to deal with the blackmailers, denies any wrongdoing.

Preliminary charges under French law mean magistrates have strong reason to believe a crime was committed, and allow time for further investigation. The charges may later be dropped.

In an interview with newspaper Le Monde this month, Valbuena spoke directly about Benzema's attempts to pressure him and said he felt betrayed by his France team-mate.

Valbuena said he was particularly shocked by the way Benzema spoke about him over the phone with one of the suspected blackmailers, with Benzema joking that Valbuena would get "eaten by the piranhas".

Benzema, who denies wrongdoing, acknowledged that the tone of his conversation was uncalled for and apologised to Valbuena and his family.

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