Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema will face trial for his alleged involvement in blackmailing former France teammate Matthieu Valbuena in a sex tape scandal.
Benzema is suspected of having pressured Valbuena to pay blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video in which Valbuena featured.
The Versailles prosecutor’s office has since confirmed that the 33-year-old will stand trial on the charge of conspiracy to attempt blackmail.
Benzema has been banned from the national team since November 2015 because of his suspected involvement in the scandal, despite consistent showings with Real Madrid.
The investigators who charged Benzema believe he was approached by a childhood friend that year to act as an intermediary and convince Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers. Instead, Valbuena informed the police.
Four other people will also stand trial in the case. Benzema denies any wrongdoing.
When the story broke, Benzema faced a deluge of criticism and then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the former Lyon player had no place in the national team.
Former French President Francois Hollande was quoted as saying in a book that Benzema was not an example of morality.
By Ofhani Munyai