France's highest appeals court: Karim Benzema blackmail case not valid

The highest appeals court in France on Tuesday annulled the validity of the investigation into Karim Benzema's alleged involvement in the attempted extortion of Mathieu Valbuena.

The lawyer for the Real Madrid forward said he hopes now that this decision has been made that the case will be thrown out.

Benzema, 29, faces preliminary charges of conspiracy to blackmail relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape involving France teammate Valbuena.

He is accused of being approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary between the blackmailers and Lyon midfielder Valbuena, and has denied any wrongdoing.

Following a Court of Cassation case brought by Benzema and Karim Zenati, also involved in the case, the validity of the investigation was annulled on Tuesday, having been sanctioned by the appeal court in Versailles last year.

The Court of Cassation ruled that the Paris Court of Appeal must now decide whether the investigation was properly conducted.

Benzema's lawyers had called into question the actions of an undercover police officer known as Lukas and the tapping of phones, including Benzema's, during stages of the investigation.

His counsel, Patrice Spinosi, has now said he hopes the case will be dropped altogether.

In late 2015, Benzema was suspended by the France national team as they investigation continued.

Although national team boss Didier Deschamps has said the striker is available for selection, he has not picked him since October that year.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet voiced his support.

"I'm delighted for Karim Benzema. I've always wanted that boy to be well. If would could stop talking about him in that case, I would be delighted. It's a decision that eases things for him and we're rather happy for him. But that doesn't mean I forget Mathieu Valbuena. The Federation stays united with its players," he said.

"It changes nothing for us [regarding Benzema's availability for the national team]. Karim Benzema isn't suspended by the Federation, I have said that 50,000 times. He is available for selection. Nasri is available for selection, Ribery is too, and many others."

Valbuena has also not played for France since October 2015. Nasri and Ribery retired from international football, but Deschamps has always maintained they could still be called up.