Football: Judge rejects Benzema request for Valbuena sex-tape showdown
Karim Benzema's request for a showdown with fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena over an alleged blackmail case in which Benzema has been charged has been rejected, judicial sources confirmed on Monday.
"The request for a confrontation was turned down on December 22," the prosecutor's office in Versailles, outside Paris, told AFP.
Real Madrid striker Benzema, 28, was charged on November 5 with complicity to blackmail and conspiring to commit a criminal act involving a sex tape featuring Valbuena.
Valbuena has said the sex images were on a mobile telephone that was stolen.
Benzema has denied any wrongdoing but could face a five-year jail term if found guilty. He was also banned from meeting 31-year-old Valbuena, a midfielder for French club Lyon where Benzema began his career.
A confrontation could have acted as "one of the levers to lift the judicial review" and advance the case, Benzema's lawyer Alain Jakubowicz claimed.
Benzema was last month indefinitely suspended from the France national team over the case.
He is alleged to have approached Valbuena at a national training camp on October 5 to encourage him to speak to the blackmailers, one of whom was a close childhood friend.
Valbuena has said that Benzema "indirectly" urged him to pay.
French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet said the suspension would include the 2016 European Championship, which starts on June 10, unless the case is settled beforehand.
© 2016 AFP