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Benzema heard as witness in Paris money-laundering case

© Valery Hache, AFP | The French newspaper Libération revealed on 17 March that the French football star testified in a money-laundering trial several months ago

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-03-18

French striker Karim Benzema was heard as a witness several months ago in an investigation over money laundering, a source close to the soccer player said on Friday, confirming a report by French daily Liberation.

The report comes less than three months before the start of the Euro 2016 soccer championship, for which the French national soccer federation (FFF) said he could not play until his legal situation in a separate case had been clarified.

The Real Madrid striker is already suspected of trying to blackmail fellow international Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape. He denies any wrongdoing.

According to Liberation, the Paris prosecutor opened a probe on Sept. 17 over the acquisition of a small business in Paris by a company in which Benzema has shares, which was sold later on for a large loss.

"He ended up being a shareholder in a restaurant and lost considerable amounts of money," the source close to Benzema confirmed, adding that he was a victim in the case.

Liberation said the investigative magistrate in charge of the case, Renaud Van Ruymbeke, appears to rule out Benzema's direct responsibility in the new investigation so far.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-03-18

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