Sport Soccer

Saturday 23 September 2017

Karim Benzema to sue French newspaper over money laundering report

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema

Tom Sheen

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will take legal action against a French newspaper that linked him to a drug trafficking and money laundering investigation.

Benzema, who denies any wrongdoing in an alleged conspiracy to blackmail international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, gave evidence as a witness into an investigation into money laundering months ago.

The report in Friday's Liberation stated that the Paris prosecutor had opened an investigation on 17 September over the acquisition of a small business by a company that Benzema owns shares in. The business was later sold on for a huge loss.

The investigative magistrate in charge of the case appeared to rule out Benzema's responsibility in the investigation.

However, having read the story, Benzema's lawyer, Eric Dupond-Moretti, says he will be taking legal action against Liberation.

"He is a simple witness," Dupond-Moretti told French newspaper L'Equipe.

"He is the only witness in a case who appears on the cover of a newspaper as if he were guilty of a series of offences.

"The headline is very evocative, look at the words used: 'money laundering', 'organised gangs', 'drugs'.

"I will sue Liberation."

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