Soccer-Prosecutor requests suspended jail term for Real's Benzema-media reports


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) - French prosecutors have recommended that Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema be handed a 10-month suspended jail term for complicity in the attempted blackmail of his former France international team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape, AFP news agency and BFM television reported on Thursday.

Prosecutors also recommended that Benzema be fined 75,000 euros ($87,262.50), AFP and BFM said.

Prosecutors allege that Benzema, who has denied wrongdoing, 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 was not immediately available to 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".

($1 = 0.8595 euros)

(Reporting by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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