If found guilty the French international faces a prison sentence of up to five years, but his lawyer insists he didn't participate in anything he has been accused of. Photo by Goal.com
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been charged with conspiracy to blackmail in the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape case.
The French international has also been placed under judicial supervision, which means he is prohibited from meeting with Lyon midfielder Valbuena or any other people charged in the case. If found guilty, he could face a maximum prison sentence of five years.
Benzema’s defence lawyer Sylvain Cormier confirmed the news on Thursday, but protested the footballer’s innocence. "Karim Benzema will show his good faith in this affair - as soon as possible, I hope," Cormier announced.
"He did not participate in anything he is accused of, no blackmail or extortion. This thing doesn't make any sense. He has been accused and charged by the prosecution. This is not proof of culpability; it's only the beginning of the affair."
After presenting himself at the police station in Versailles on Wednesday, Benzema remained in custody overnight after being questioned as part of the investigation into the blackmail case over a sex tape involving his international team-mate.
Three other people have been handed preliminary charges over the case, while former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse was briefly detained last month before being released.
The case has been under investigation since earlier this year when Valbuena took legal action after being contacted by someone claiming to be in possession of an sex tape.