The trial also found Benzema’s four co-defendants guilty, three of whom received prison sentences.
Defendant Yunus Haus’ lawyer Tevfik Bozenoun – who was given an 18-month suspended sentence – told CNN that his client had been “manipulated”.
“He never blackmailed or attempted to blackmail because he never asked for money. He never had a financial request,” Bozenen told CNN in a statement.
“I think the decisions are less serious than the ones requested by the prosecutor, I see leniency and clemency in them.”
CNN is attempting to contact attorneys for the other co-defendants.
Among the files transferred by Axel Engot from Valbuena’s faulty phone in 2014 was a video containing sexual material related to Valbuena.
About a year later, according to a statement from the Versailles court that convicted Benzema, Angot, with the assistance of others, tried to use sex tapes to blackmail the footballer.
Those attempting to blackmail Valbuena also reached out to another former French international, Jibril Sisse, who, like Benzema, has played for some of Europe’s leading clubs, in an attempt to persuade Valbuena to pay.
However, according to court documents, Cisse refused to assist.
So the blackmailers turned to Benzema, a childhood friend of one of them – Karim Zenatti – to try to persuade Velbuena to pay.
Handing down its decision, the court ruled that Benzema, through “misrepresenting himself as a friend willing to help his partner”, had used his professional stature and paid Valbuena “money”. To blackmail and contact” lied to convince. For this purpose his friend Karim Zanati who was the only one in a position to help him.”
Following Wednesday’s ruling, Benzema’s legal team said the Real Madrid star would be cleared “in a court of appeal”.
One of Benzema’s attorneys, Sylvain Cormier, said outside, “The court explicitly declared that Karim Benzema was not aware of prior conspiracies and then finally said ‘he doesn’t know, doesn’t know,’ ‘ without any evidence.” court room.
“They have condemned him with a very harsh, unjust sentence without evidence. I am deeply shocked by this decision,” Cormier said.
The court statement said Benzema and Valbuena were not friends before the incident. According to the court, the 33-year-old Real Madrid star did not even have Valbuena’s phone number.
Documents say Benzema lied about his meeting with Mustafa Zouai, who the court called the mastermind behind the blackmail, when he was first questioned by investigators. According to the court statement, he was doing this to protect Benzema’s childhood friend and employee, Jenati.
Benzema insists that Valbuena should meet with Zenati. The Real Madrid player told Valbuena, who now plays for Greek club Olympiakos, that the people holding the tapes were from major crime groups in the southern French city of Marseille and advised him against going to the police or his lawyer.
The court’s findings said Benzema also administered an oath to Valbuena “on his daughter’s head” that there would be no copy of the sex tape.
Valbuena found that “the goal of the maneuver to prevent the video from becoming public was to extort money from it,” the court said in a statement.
The court held that Benzema was not aware of the behind-the-scenes maneuver that was taking place, but said that he was personally involved in “using “deceit and lies” to convince his partner. [Valbuena] To blackmail and for this purpose to contact his trusted person, in this case Karim Zenati.”
The court made this decision based on the contents of a discussion Benzema had with Valbuena on October 6, 2015 in the Paris suburb of Clairfontein – the site of the French national team’s training ground – which he told Zenatti shortly afterwards.
The statement said the recorded telephone conversation between Benzema and Zenati, which was played out at trial, showed no good will towards Valbuena and “proves the existence of an attempt to blackmail led by both “
The French football federation said it had no statement on the matter when asked by CNN, but its president Nol Le Grat clarified that Benzema “is still a player for the France team. This decision doesn’t change anything for us.” Is.”
Real Madrid declined to comment on the matter when asked by CNN.
Valbuena’s attorney, Paul-Albert Evens, also declined to comment on Benzema’s sentencing.
Later on Wednesday, Benzema played and scored in Real Madrid’s Champions League win against Sheriff Tiraspol.