Soccer-French court to hand down verdict on Real's Benzema on Nov. 24 -media


FILE PHOTO: French soccer player Mathieu Valbuena answers questions to journalists during a break in the trial of Real Madrid soccer team player Karim Benzema and other defendants, on charges of involvement in an alleged attempt to blackmail Valbuena over a sex tape almost five years ago, at the Versailles courthouse, near Paris, France, October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

PARIS (Reuters) - A French court will hand down its verdict in Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema's "sex tape affair" trial on Nov. 24, French CNews and BFM televisions reported on Friday.

Benzema is charged with complicity in the attempted blackmail of his former France international team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape. He has denied wrongdoing.

French media said on Thursday that prosecutors have recommended that Benzema, if found guilty, be handed a 10-month suspended jail term and be fined 75,000 euros ($87,345).

Prosecutors allege that Benzema encouraged Valbuena to pay a suspected group of blackmailers in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye.

A lawyer for 33-year-old Benzema didn't immediately answer a request for comment.

Benzema, who has played 92 times for his country and was recalled to the France squad for this year's European Championship, scored in Real's 5-0 Champions League group stage win over Shakhtar Donetsk in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Benzema and Valbuena lost their places in the national team in the wake of the scandal, dubbed the "sex tape affair".

(Reporting by Matthieu Protard and Julien Pretot; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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