June 30, 2023 – Due to suspicion of giving a false testimony at the first trial of Zdravko Mamic and others for extracting money from NK Dinamo, the Osijek Municipal State Attorney’s Office filed charges against Luka Modric, the captain of the Croatian national football team, as well as against the former national team player Dejan Lovren.
As Glas Istre writes, without specifying the identities of the defendants, the prosecutor’s office states that Lovren is accused of having committed the crime on September 1, 2017 at the Osijek County Court during the hearing in the case against Zdravko and Zoran Mamic, former director of “Dinamo” Damir Vrbanovic and tax collector Milan Pernar. They were in court for criminal offenses of abuse of position and power. The trial judge did warn Lovren that he is obliged to tell the truth and that giving a false statement is a criminal offence.
He is accused of knowingly falsely stating that he signed the annex to the professional playing contract shortly after signing his professional playing contract with his parent club, even though he knew it was untrue. The defendant is accused of having knowingly untruthfully stated that he signed three letters addressed to the parent club in his own hand, in which the payment of a certain percentage of the transfer compensation is requested on his behalf and contains a signature with his name. He is also accused of falsely stating that he was in Croatia on those days. Moreover, he stated that he personally opened a special account in a bank in Zagreb and that on the day of the payment, he personally transferred the money to the bank account of a third person, even though he was aware that was in France at the time.
Charges Against Modric and Lovren
As for the charges against Luka Modric, he is accused of having committed this criminal offense on June 13, 2017 at the Osijek County Court during the hearing in the criminal case against the same defendants. He was also warned that he was obliged to tell the truth and that giving false testimony is a criminal offense.
The prosecution suspects that Modric knowingly untruthfully stated that he signed the annexes to the professional playing contract. The annexes regulate the distribution of transfer compensation between him and his home club with every professional contract extension. Modric stated that he signed those annexes again after leaving the home club. He is accused of knowing that this was not true because he signed the said annexes to the contract only when he left his parent club.
Furthermore, Modric is accused of having, during the presentation of a part of the minutes of his interrogation during the investigation, knowingly untruthfully stated that when giving his testimony during the investigation, he was only thinking about regulating his civil law relationship with a third person and that he did not state during the investigation that he had signed the annex to the contract with the parent club afterwards, even though was aware that this was not true.
Mamic and Others sentenced in 2021
By the final judgment of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia from 2021, former head of NK Dinamo Zdravko Mamic was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for extracting HRK 116 million from Dinamo. His brother Zoran was sentenced to four years and eight months. Former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanovic was sentenced to three years, while tax collector Milan Pernar got three years and two months.
Charges against Modric and Lovren have already been filed once for giving a false testimony. They were then dismissed, against Modric in 2018, and against Lovren in 2019. The explanation stated that there was not a sufficient level of reasonable suspicion to file charges or conduct criminal proceedings. Another reason was because the verdict against Zdravko Mamic and the other three defendants was not yet final at that time.