France striker Karim Benzema has this morning been found guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of Mathieu Valbuena. The presiding judge of the Versailles court has sentenced him to a one-year suspended prison sentence and a €75k fine.
After a trial at the end of last month for which the forward was absent the prosecutor had called for a ten month suspended sentence as well as a €75k fine. The maximum sentence the France forward could have received was a five-year term in prison and €90k fine.
The Real Madrid striker was not present at the trial in October, nor at this morning’s tribunal. The four others on trial, who were found to have been directly involved in the attempt, have been handed sanctions ranging from 18-month suspended sentences to two and a half years in prison.
FFF president Noël Le Graët has previously told Le Parisien that the outcome of the trial would have no bearing on Benzema’s availability for selection to the French national team for the coming months. As the striker is able to appeal the decision, for the time being he will not be frozen out of the team, as he was for nearly six years as a result of the case.