Speaking to France Bleu following the first day of the trial of Karim Benzema and his alleged complicity in the act of blackmail of Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape, a member of his legal team, Sylvain Cormier, summarised his thoughts.
“My client is not here because last night he was in Ukraine. Now, he is preparing to play at Barcelona. These are not the conditions within which you attend a 3 day trial. If the tribunal had found our excuse to be not valid, they would have told us but that is not the case. The dilemma was that if we had asked for a delay, it would have delayed the trial into the Greek calendar, and that, nobody wanted, not even the tribunal who are analysing a case that began 6 years ago. Our view is simple. For us, this affair is being made out to be a mountain. We are over-interpreting certain phrases that our client might have said on the phone to a friend. All he wanted to do was simply defend his team-mate, to offer help to Karim Zenati in total discretion and now… without being able to imagine what would come of it.”
“We saw the prosecutor well briefed who repeated like a robot the same phrases. Honestly, to come and say that there could have been financial compensation on Mr Benzema’s part is ridiculous. Mr Valbuena speaks with resentment. His calculation is simple: “I was excluded from the squad, never returned to the French national team, from a footballing perspective I was not chosen, and in contrast Karim Benzema is at the top of world football. It is a type of jealousy.”