Karim Benzema found guilty: Timeline of the sex-tape blackmail case involving Mathieu Valbuena
Karim Benzema has eventually been found guilty of blackmailing Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape. In a case that started in 2015, we present the timeline of how the events transpired.
French and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been found guilty in a blackmailing case involving a fellowman countryman Mathieu Valbuena. As Benzema had allegedly blackmailed him over the sex tape, a french judge sentenced him to a fine of €75,000, along with a suspended jail-term sentence of a year. With justice being served, we present the time of how things unfolded since 2015.
November 4, 2015
The French police arrested Benzema for allegedly blackmailing Valbuena over a recorded sex tape. Immediately, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, "A great athlete should be exemplary. If he is not, he has no place in the France team. There are so many kids, so many youngsters in our suburbs that relate to great athletes. They wear the blue jersey, the colours of France, which are so important in these moments."
December 10, 2015
French Football Federation (FFF) president Noël Le Graët imposed a provisional suspension until a concrete development on the affair came ahead or was proven innocent. As a result, he immediately lost his place in the French national side, thereby unable to compete during the UEFA Euro 2016 and the FIFA World Cup 2018.
February 17, 2016
The judicial review that was being conducted over Benzema was lifted. Consequently, it allowed the French striker to get in touch with Valbuena and talk the issue out, including apologising and making amends related to the entire mess created, including the clearance of any misunderstandings.
July 11, 2017
The Court of Cassation issued a judgement. It refuted a ruling by the Court of Appeal of Versailles where it had approved a procedure to indict Benzema for "complicity of attempted blackmail". The choice was taken based on the legality that was contested through the telephonic recordings by the cops, while the report failed to expose Valbuena's blackmail attempt reality by Benzema.
January 7, 2021
Versailles' public prosecutor's office declared that a trial for the case would be conducted, which would be faced by Benzema.
May 18, 2021
FFF lifts Benzema's suspension in international football, and he is recalled to the side for the first time in five years, taking part in the 2020 UEFA Euro. He played a warm-up game against Wales on June 2.
November 24, 2021
The judge finds Benzema guilty of the alleged blackmail allegations and hands him a suspended one-year jail term, along with a fine of €75,000. However, FFF informed that his international football suspension had already been served and would not be further suspended, making him available for France following the judge's verdict.