Karim Benzema wins appeal to have blackmail case re-examined

France's forward Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his teams third goal with midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, during a Group E football match between France and Honduras at the Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 15,
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Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema wins his appeal to have the blackmail case involving former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena re-examined.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has won his appeal to have the blackmail case involving former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena re-examined.

Benzema is accused of participating in a plot to extort money from Valbuena via the reported existence of a sex tape involving the Lyon midfielder and his partner.

The striker and co-defendant Karim Zenati contested the legality of the investigation into the situation, claiming that some of their conversations had been illegally listened in to.

Benzema's lawyer Patrice Spinosi accused an undercover policeman of provoking the commission of the offence and, while the application for the process to be annulled was initially rejected in December, France's supreme court of appeal has today ordered a re-examination of the charge.

"It is certainly a big victory. In practice, this must mean that the evidence against Karim Benzema is set aside," Mr Spinosi told France Info.

The decision does not clear Benzema of any wrongdoing, but does recognise that aspects of the police investigation had broken rules.

Karim Benzema in action during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Real Madrid on December 3, 2016
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