Karim Benzema has been sentenced to a 75,000 euro fine and a year in jail, although he will not enter prison, for complicity in the attempt to blackmail his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex video. The court also sentenced Axel Angot (two years in prison), Mustapha Zouaoui (two years and six months), Karim Zenati (fifteen months) and Younes Houass (18 months’ sentence). Who are they? We review here the protagonists of the case.
The 37-year-old French midfielder, who currently plays for Olympiacos, was concentrated in July 2014 with the France team when he received a call: he alerted him that he was appearing in a video with high sexual content. Or paid 150,000 euros or the video would be posted on the internet. The French international filed a complaint with the Versailles judicial police for blackmail.
Axel Angot, a old chauffeur who then orbited in the environment of Olympique de Marseille players (where Valbuena played those years), discovered the video. It was after the footballer asked him as a favor to transmit the data from his mobile phone to another. So, he decided to use those images to pay a debt of 25,000 euros. Angot contacted Mustapha Zouaoui.
“If I had wanted, I could have had many sexual videos. I have gone to parties at Valbuena’s house, I have seen four players on the same girl”, explained Mustapha Zouaoui before the court, where he defined Valbuena’s house as “a follódromo”. Zouaoui found prostitutes for footballers like Djibril Cissé. “He can’t imagine the times we send girls to Greece. I would say to him: ‘Djibril, do you know they are 15 years old?'” During the trial, he explained that he helped Cissé not to publish a sexual video and the former French international gave him 15,000 euros for the management. A play that Zouaoui wanted to repeat with Valbuena.
Zouaoui tried to get Cissé to act as an intermediary but the former player of the Liverpool he refused. Then the mastermind of the plot made use of Youanes Houas, with contacts in the football scene and who was the first to get in touch with Valbuena. Houass claimed during the process that he did not ask Valbuena for money but only He suggested that he go to “a trusted man” to solve the case. “Stop pretending that you were Mother Teresa. You are interested in money,” said the president of the court, Christophe Morvan. “I am not Mother Teresa,” acknowledged the accused.
Seeing that Valbuena does not agree to the blackmail, Zouaoui turned to Karim Zenati, who has known his namesake Benzema since they grew up in the same building outside of Lyon. He is “a brother” to the Madridista, who took him to Spain when Zenati got out of jail. Zenati, unaware that the police were already investigating the case, convinced the Madrid star to persuade his teammate to agree to blackmail.
“He went white, he swallowed it all“Benzema commented to Zenati after talking to Valbuena.” If he does not accept, let those piranhas eat him, they will piss on him, “the white striker said with laughter in the conversations intervened by the police. The white striker assured that it was innocent and that he only limited himself to giving Valbuena some advice from a friend. “Benzema was personally involved insistently to try to convince Mathieu Valbuena to meet with a man he trusted,” explained the court. He was exposed to a penalty of up to five years in prison, although it has finally been only one and he will not have to go to prison. The case also caused him to be out of the French team for more than five years, from the moment the case exploded until Didier Deschamps lifted the veto and gave him He called up for the last European Championship. During his absence, France was proclaimed champion in the 2018 World Cup, played in Russia.