After being found guilty in a sex tape blackmail case, France and Real Madrid star Karim Benzema was given a one-year suspended prison term and a €75,000 fine.
In 2015, Benzema was found guilty of attempting to blackmail Mathieu Valbuena, a teammate from France.
The 33-year-old lawyer has stated that he would appeal the judgment.
The court’s judgment is unlikely to have an immediate impact on Benzema’s sports career. Following an excellent season with Real Madrid, the attacker is considered one of the favorites to win the Ballon d’Or later this month.
Even if Benzema is found guilty, French federation head Noel Le Great has stated that he would be allowed to continue playing for France.
Benzema, who denied guilt, was not present at the trial in Versailles last month and was not there when the decision was announced.
The four other suspects were found guilty as well, although they did not appear in court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors had requested for Benzema to be fined €75,000, the highest amount permitted under the accusation, and to be sentenced to a suspended 10-month prison sentence if found guilty.
Benzema was accused with aiding and abetting a blackmail attempt involving a sex tape seized from Valbuena’s cellphone.
Benzema was withdrawn from France’s national team by coach Didier Deschamps after preliminary accusations were filed in November 2015.
As a result, Benzema was unable to participate in Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, which France won.
Deschamps recalled Benzema ahead of the postponed Euro 2020 competition and has used him on a regular basis since then.