Karim Benzema to sue French newspaper over money laundering report
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."