PARIS: A prosecutor in Paris has asked that a court discharge France international forward Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema and scrap charges of associating with an underage prostiture.
Jean-Julien Xavier-Rolai, addressing the Correctional Court, said: “It is impossible for the accusation to prove that Franck Ribery was aware that Zahia Dehar, a prostitute-turned-fashion model, was under 18 [the age of majority in France].”
Xavier-Rolin added that Benzema should also be discharged.
Real Madrid striker Benzema and Bayern Munich forward Ribery, who were not attending the four-day trial, were being tried on charges of paying Dehar when she was aged 16 and 17.
Ribery has admitted paying her for sex but said he did not know how hold she was. Benzema has denied having any sexual relations with Dehar.
Paying for sex is not illegal in France but underage prostitution is.
Last December, the National Assembly passed a bill to fine prostitutes clients, but it still has to pass the Senate and be signed by president Francois Hollande before it becomes law.