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Benzema given clean chit in Valbuena blackmail case?

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Mustapha Zouaoui, one of those involved in the sex tape blackmail case of French footballer Mathieu Valbuena, has exonerated Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema from taking any part in the plot, and admitted that he was the one who got Benzema implicated in the case.

In an interview conducted on July 24 and published by L'Equipe on Monday, Zouaoui revealed that Benzema did not want to harm his national teammate. Zouaoui admitted that he was the one who revealed to Benzema in September 2015 that there was a sex tape in his possession of Valbuena and his wife.

He added that Benzema took the matter seriously and was concerned about the effect the tape could have on Valbuena if the video was made public. Later on, Zouaoui put pressure on Benzema, through a friend of his called Karim Zenati, in order to press the French player to talk to Valbuena.

Benzema complied and spoke to Valbuena during the French national team training camp in early October 2015, but according to Zouaoui, Benzema made a mistake during the conversation.

He explained that Benzema delivered the message incorrectly and told Valbuena that he had a friend who could sort the problem out, rather than telling him that he knew who had the tape, which the police took as involvement in a plot to blackmail Valbuena, despite the fact that Benzema wanted to help his teammate.

Zouaoui believes that it is unfair for the Real Madrid player to stand trial while other players, such as Djibril Cisse and half of the Olympique Marseille players, have actually watched the video.

When asked how he acquired a copy of the tape, he said that Axel Angot, an official in a private company with whom Valbuena dealt, made a copy of the video from the player's computer.