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Benzema denies charges in prostitute case   10-07-22 11:18

Karim Benzema (Xinhua Photo)

  PARIS, July 21 (Xinhua) -- French striker Karim Benzema did not solicit an under-age prostitute, the Real Madrid striker's lawyer Sylvain Cormier said on Wednesday.

  Cormier said Benzema had formally denied the allegations made against him that he had sex with an 17-year-old prostitute Zahia Dehar.

  In France, it is illegal to have sex with a prostitute under the age of 18.

  Benzema, 22, and his France international colleague Franck Ribery were both placed under investigation by a Paris magistrate on Tuesday as part of a probe into a prostitution ring linked to a Champs Elysees nightclub.

  Ribery's brother-in-law was also charged, but all three men were later released.

  Ribery has admitted to having relations with Dehar but denies that he did so knowing she is under-age.

  Ribery and Benzema face three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros if found guilty, but only if the prosecution can prove that they knew the prostitute was a minor at the time of their liaisons with her.

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