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Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 2:52:06 AM
Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 2:52:40 AM
FIFA Men's World Player of the Year 2013 nominee Franck Ribery of France addresses a news conference ahead of the FIFA Ballon d'Or soccer awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich January 13, 2014. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
PARIS (Reuters) - France forwards Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema will know whether they are cleared of soliciting an underage prostitute next Thursday after the Correctional Court of Paris adjourned the case for further deliberations.
On Wednesday, prosecutor Jean-Julien Xavier-Rolai asked that the two footballers be discharged of solicitation of an underage prostitute.
"It is impossible for the accusation to prove Franck Ribery was aware" that Zahia Dehar, a prostitute-turned-fashion model, was under 18, Xavier-Rolai told the court before adding that Benzema should also be discharged.
Real Madrid striker Benzema and Bayern Munich playmaker Ribery, who were not attending the four-day trial, were being tried on charges of paying Dehar when she was aged 16 and 17.
Ribery has admitted paying her for sex but said he did not know how old she was. Benzema has denied having any sexual relations with Dehar.
Paying for sex is not illegal in France but underage prostitution is.
(Writing by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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