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Karim Benzema heard as witness in money laundering case

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

Karim Benzema-AV

The report comes less than three months before the start of the European Championship finals in France, in which the French football federation (FFF) said he could not play until his legal situation in a separate case had been clarified.

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

According to Libération, the Paris prosecutor opened an investigation on 17 September 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.

Libération 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.

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