Croa­tia’s Mamic faces new cor­rup­tion charges

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Croa­tia’s foot­ball strong­man and for­mer Di­namo Za­greb chief Zdravko Mamic was charged yes­ter­day for fun­nelling money from the club which al­legedly cost it nearly 20 mil­lion eu­ros ($22.8 mil­lion). Along with Mamic, na­tional anti-graft pros­e­cu­tors charged six other peo­ple in­clud­ing his brother Zo­ran, a for­mer Di­namo Za­greb coach, son Mario and for­mer club di­rec­tor Damir Vr­banovic.

Mamic is charged of hav­ing or­gan­ised a “crim­i­nal en­ter­prise with the aim to get pe­cu­niary gain for him­self and oth­ers, all at Di­namo’s detri­ment,” a pros­e­cu­tors’ state­ment said.

The of­fences took place be­tween De­cem­ber 2004 and De­cem­ber 2016, it said. The sus­pects were al­legedly ar­rang­ing fic­tious deals be­tween Di­namo and for­eign firms based in the United King­dom, Switzer­land, the United Arab Emi­rates and else­where for “non-ex­is­tent me­di­a­tion ser­vices dur­ing play­ers’ trans­fers,” the state­ment said. The com­pa­nies were then is­su­ing re­ceipts for non-ex­is­tent ser­vices that the club was pay­ing. “In such way...at least 144 mil­lion ku­nas (19.4 mil­lion eu­ros) were paid on for­eign com­pa­nies’ ac­counts at Di­namo’s detri­ment,” the state­ment said. The Mamic brothers and Vr­banovic are al­ready be­ing tried in an­other case for abuse of power and graft that cost Di­namo more than 15 mil­lion eu­ros and the state 1.5 mil­lion eu­ros.

Cash was al­legedly em­bez­zled through fic­ti­tious deals re­lated to player trans­fers. Real Madrid mid­fielder Luka Mo­dric tes­ti­fied in June over the de­tails of his 2008 trans­fer from Di­namo to Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur. How­ever, he is now him­self be­ing probed over al­leged false tes­ti­mony and was ques­tioned by pros­e­cu­tors ear­lier this month. An­other Croa­t­ian in­ter­na­tional, Liver­pool de­fender De­jan Lovren, is to ap­pear as a wit­ness in Septem­ber.

Mamic’s trial, which opened in April, has at­tracted huge in­ter­est from me­dia and res­i­dents of the east­ern city of Osi­jek, where it is be­ing held re­port­edly to avoid Mamic’s in­flu­ence on judges in the cap­i­tal Za­greb. Mamic is con­sid­ered to be 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. The 57-year-old re­peat­edly ar­gued that the probes against him were po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.—AFP

Zdravko Mamic

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