Ribery, Benzema trial begins

The trial of Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema on charges of soliciting an underage prostitute has started in Paris.

Last Updated: 20/01/14 at 21:54 Post Comment

Franck Ribery: Facing up to three years in jail if convicted in Paris

Franck Ribery: Facing up to three years in jail if convicted in Paris

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The two players face potential prison terms of up to three years and a 45,000-euro fine each if convicted.

Neither Real Madrid striker Benzema or Bayern Munich star Ribery will be attending the four-day hearing.

Ribery admits paying Zahia Dehar for sex in 2008 and 2009 when she was aged 16 and 17. Benzema however denies having any sexual relations with Dehar. Paying for sex is not illegal in France - but paying for sex with someone under the age of 18 is.

Lawyers for both players said their clients would not attend any of the trial, which ends on Thursday.

Zahia Dehar, now 21, says Ribery flew her to Munich as a birthday present to himself in 2009 when she was under 18. She says she lied to the players and told them she was an adult.

Ribery's lawyer, Carlo Alberto Brusa, opened by insisting there should be no trial at all.

"We have a truncated trial. On one hand the civil party (Dehar) who was, let's say, at the time the victim, who is no longer the victim and no longer considers herself one and therefore she is out of the trial.

"On the other hand, I remind you that the prosecutor has recommended that the case be dismissed. By consequence, today, we have a trial without accusations."

Ribery is alleged to have had sex with Dehar three times including at the home of Kamel Ramdani, 39, one of several people who are on trial after a probe into a suspected network of prostitutes operating out of a nightclub called 'Zaman Café' on Paris' Champs-Elysees first opened in 2010.

"As far as I'm concerned, I will do everything possible so that France and a leading football player will be cleared of everything," Brusa said.

Although Ribery has admitted to having sex with Dehar, he claims he did not pay her and that he did not know that she was either a prostitute or a minor at the time.

Benzema has denied all the allegations. The 26-year-old Benzema is alleged to have paid 500 euros to have sex with Dehar in May 2008 - the night he won the French player of the year award playing for his former club Lyon. At the time Dehar was 16.

Benzema's lawyer Sylvain Cormier said: "From the outset, Karim Benzema has said that nothing happened on May 11, 2008. We are going to try to demonstrate that this is the truth and even prove it, and I hope that we are cleared - cleared outright, not just on the benefit of the doubt or on a technicality."

Prostitution is legal in France, but prostitutes must be over 18.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

h ha ha, excellent. Let's hope he goes on the run. Then they hunt piggy down for scoffing all the apples. At least he's done something right - he has united football fans, regardless of who they support, against FIFA and all those at the top who have been bleeding the game for their own means and giving nothing back.

GVMUFC
Blatter 'under investigation'

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

Footer 365

Rafa Benitez named new coach of Real Madrid

Rafa Benitez has been confirmed as the new coach of Real Madrid on a three-year contract.

Mourinho 'not interested' in Griezmann

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has ruled out making a move for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann this summer.

United fail with Varane and Bale bids

Manchester United have failed with a €150million bid for Raphael Varane and Gareth Bale but want Atletico Madrid's Joao Miranda, claim reports.

Mail Box

Celebrate Good Times, But Hard Work Starts Now

The Mailbox is joyous over the impending departure of Sepp Blatter, but offers a reminder that problems remain. Plus title winners, CL play-offs and Nigel Adkins...

Liverpool 2015 Feels Like Liverpool 2011...

One Mailer says Benteke = Carroll, Bellamy = Milner and Clyne = Downing. Plus we have U21 Euro impatience, farewell Rio, Rafa Benitez, Milner, FIFA and title play-offs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company