Monday, April 15, 2024

Benzema’s defamation suit against top French minister is dismissed – POLITICO

But on Tuesday, the Court of Justice of the Republic, a court for lawsuits against members of the government, dismissed the complaint.

The court found that Darmanin’s remarks “do not impute to [Benzema] any fact that is likely to undermine his honour or his reputation,” according to a statement by public prosecutor of the Court of Cassation Rémy Heitz. The decision is not subject to appeal, he added.

In October, Darmanin, a right-leaning minister and a longtime hard-liner on security issues and secularism, caused a media storm when he claimed that Benzema, the 2022 Ballon D’or winner, had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist party which some Middle Eastern countries consider to be a terrorist group.

“Benzema is notoriously linked with the Muslim Brotherhood, we all know it,” the French minister said in an interview on French conservative TV broadcaster CNews. Darmanin later doubled down on the accusations, saying Benzema had “made the extremely selective choice of using the same discourse as the Muslim Brotherhood” on social media.

Benzema’s lawyer, Hugues Vigier, denied that there was any link between Benzema and the Muslim Brotherhood, before filing the lawsuit in January.

Benzema, a former Real Madrid superstar who plays for the Saudi-based Al-Ittihad football club, is a practicing Muslim and has publicly expressed his support for Palestinians in Gaza under fire by Israel.

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