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'Drop Ribery-Benzema trial,' court told

January 23, 2014
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

The prosecutor in the case involving Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema has asked for the charges against the French international duo to be dropped.

On the third day of the hearing in Paris into allegations Ribery, 30, and Benzema, 26, knew Zahia Dehar, now 21, was underage when they had sexual relations with her, Jean-Julien Xavier-Rolai asked the court to drop charges against the players.

"It is impossible for the accusation to prove that Franck Ribery was aware [that Dehar was underage at the time]," Xavier-Rolai told the court. Dehar has always maintained she had lied about her age.

While Ribery acknowledges having sex with Dehar but denies paying her for it in 2009, Benzema insists he had not had a relationship with the former call girl in May 2008.

The Bayern Munich man and Real Madrid forward faced a maximum three-year sentence and a 45,000 euro fine.

Five other defendants still face charges of procuring.


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