Mo­dric ques­tioned over al­leged false tes­ti­mony

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Croa­t­ian pros­e­cu­tors yes­ter­day ques­tioned Real Madrid’s Luka Mo­dric over his al­leged false tes­ti­mony at the trial of Di­namo Zagreb’s pow­er­ful former boss, Zdravko Mamic. “I came here to present my de­fence and tell the truth as ev­ery time so far,” Mo­dric told re­porters af­ter the ques­tion­ing in the eastern town of Osi­jek, where the trial is be­ing held, the state-run HINA news agency re­ported. “My conscience is clear,” the 31-year-old Croa­tia cap­tain said. “I’m cer­tain that even­tu­ally it will be shown that I did not com­mit any crim­i­nal act.”

In June the pros­e­cu­tors opened a probe of Mo­dric whom they sus­pect of giv­ing false tes­ti­mony dur­ing Mamic’s trial, which is pun­ish­able with up to five years in jail.

Mamic is ac­cused-along with his brother Zo­ran Mamic and two oth­ers-of abuse of power and graft that cost the former Croa­t­ian cham­pi­ons more than 15 mil­lion eu­ros ($16.9 mil­lion), and the state 1.5 mil­lion eu­ros. Cash was al­legedly em­bez­zled through fic­ti­tious deals re­lated to player trans­fers.

Mo­dric tes­ti­fied in mid-June over the de­tails of his 2008 trans­fer from Di­namo to Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur.From there he joined Real Madrid in 2012. The pros­e­cu­tors al­leged that, when ques­tioned at the tri­bunal, Mo­dric falsely said he had signed an an­nex to a con­tract with Di­namo over con­di­tions for fu­ture trans­fers in July 2004.

When ques­tioned dur­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions in 2015, Mo­dric said the an­nex was signed af­ter he joined Tot­ten­ham, ac­cord­ing to the pros­e­cu­tors. An­other Croa­t­ian in­ter­na­tional, Liver­pool de­fender De­jan Lovren, is to ap­pear as wit­ness in Septem­ber.

The 28-year-old is ex­pected to be ques­tioned over his 2010 trans­fer from Di­namo to French side Lyon. The trial, which opened in April, has at­tracted huge in­ter­est from me­dia and res­i­dents of Osi­jek where it is be­ing held re­port­edly to avoid Mamic’s in­flu­ence on judges in the cap­i­tal Zagreb.

Mamic is con­sid­ered the most pow­er­ful man in Croa­t­ian foot­ball and his con­nec­tions ex­tend into many spheres of public life. Most Croa­t­ian foot­ball fans see him as the real boss of the Croa­t­ian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion and believe its for­mal chief Da­vor Suker is merely Mamic’s pup­pet.

Mo­dric, who grew up as a refugee in Zadar on the Dal­ma­tian coast, is highly pop­u­lar in Croa­tia where he has a rep­u­ta­tion for mod­esty. — AFP

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