A French appeals court has lifted the order preventing Benzema from meeting with Valbuena, paving the way for the 28-year-old top scorer of France to play for the national team.

Benzema’s lawyer Sylvain Cormier described Friday’s decision as “a first step”.
“We are working hard to show that Karim Benzema is innocent,” said Cormier.

Earlier last November, a French judge placed Benzema under formal investigation as the Real Madrid star was accused of blackmailing fellow French international Valbuena over a sex-tape.

Both players were omitted from the national squad just an hour after Benzema was charged, while Benzema was not allowed to come into contact with Valbuena.

The 28-year-old forward has admitted approaching Valbuena about the sex-tape “on behalf of a childhood friend” who himself had been contacted by blackmailers, but denied any wrongdoing.

If convicted, Benzema would serve up to five years. He had previously been banned from meeting the 31-year-old Valbuena, a midfielder playing for Ligue 1 side Lyon.

Benzema, who’s currently sidelined with an injury, has represented his country on 81 occasions with 27 goals and was a key part of the squad for last year’s World Cup in Brazil. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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