Posted by News Express | 21 January 2014 | 4,371 times
Two of Europe’s top footballers will go on trial today accused of having sex with an underage prostitute.
French internationals Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema, who play for Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively, deny knowingly paying for sex with Zahia Dehar while she was under 18.
The pair could face up to three years in prison and fines of up to €45,000.
Neither of the stars, who are two of football’s highest paid players, are expected to attend the trial’s opening in Paris.
Carlo Alberto Brusa, Ribery’s lawyer, said: “We are going in confident and we are going to fight.”
The footballers allegedly paid for sex with Dehar when she was 16, in Benzema’s case, and 17, in Ribery’s.
Ribery, who recently finished third in the Fifa Ballon d’Or, had admitted having sex with Dehar after she was flown to Germany in 2009 as a “present” for his 26th birthday – but maintains he had no way of knowing she was not 18 at the time.
Benzema, who plays alongside Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo at Spanish side Real Madrid, is accused of paying for sex with the prostitute in a Paris hotel.
The striker denies any encounter took place.
•Credit (except headline): Daily Star UK. Photo shows Ribery and Benzema.
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