Croatia investigates Real Madrid’s Modric for alleged false testimony

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Croatia’s state attorney is investigating Croatia international and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric on suspicion of giving false testimony in a criminal trial, the attorney’s office said on Monday.

Modric testified last week at the trial of a tax official and three former senior officials from the soccer club Dinamo Zagreb, including its former chief executive, Zdravko Mamic.

The state attorney’s office in the eastern city of Osijek, which is running the investigation of the false testimony, did not name Modric, as is standard procedure in Croatia.

But the state attorney’s office referred to a 32-year-old Croatian who testified last week, a description that fits Modric and no one else. Local media, including state radio and television, identified Modric as the investigation’s target. Modric could not immediately be reached for comment.

Modric testified as a witness at the trial of tax and Dinamo officials on charges that they avoided paying 12.2 million kuna ($1.84 million) in taxes and diverted 116 million kuna from the soccer club, anti-corruption police said.

“The witness falsely said that on July 10, 2004, the date when he signed his first professional contract, he also signed an annex on the basis of which he had acquired a right to a 50:50 share in transfer fees,” the state attorney said in a statement.

The attorney also said Modric falsely claimed that had signed such an annex every time he extended his contract.

Two years ago, Modric testified to anti-corruption investigators that he had signed an annex to his contract at a later point, when he had already joined a foreign club, according to the state attorney.

Modric moved to Tottenham from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008. He joined Real Madrid in 2012.

All three former Dinamo officials, who also include former coach Zoran Mamic and the club’s former executive and current senior official of the Croatian Soccer Federation, Damir Vrbanovic, deny charges.

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