More hot water for Croatian footballers involved in the Zdravko Mamić trial.
After the Osijek prosecutor’s office opened an investigation against the captain of the Croatian national football team, Luka Modrić, for suspicion of false testimony, identical actions were launched against two others in the Zdravko Mamić trial – Modrić’s mother-in-law Vesna Juraić and Croatian footballer Dejan Lovren, reports Index.hr on December 27, 2017.
All three investigations were initiated at the Osijek County Court during the trial of Zdravko Mamić for the withdrawal of about HRK 117 million from football club Dinamo Zagreb.
As is well known, at his testimony in mid-June, Luka Modrić changed the critical allegations of his statement given to USKOK during the investigation. The specifics deal with the circumstances under which the transfer remuneration was split between Modrić and Dinamo after Luka’s transfer to Tottenham in 2008. Namely, USKOK charged Zdravko Mamić for having made a payment of half of Modrić’s compensation, around EUR 10.5 million, based on backdating the annex to the contract of professional gaming. Modrić explicitly stated in the investigation that he had no Transfer Sharing Agreement with Dinamo, but that the controversial annex was only formed after he had already started playing for Tottenham.
“At that time, after my transfer to Tottenham and after I played for Tottenham, as I remember, an annex to the professional player agreement between Dinamo and me was made from which I own 50 percent of the transfer. Zdravko Mamić then explained to me that it is necessary to sign that annex so I could get a part of the money from the transfer to Tottenham. I think Zdravko Mamić signed this annex, and as far as I can remember, he did not give me a copy of the annex,” Modrić said, explaining that most of this amount, based on his civil contract with Mamić, was forwarded to Zdravko Mamić.
At the Osijek trial, Modrić noted that the disputed annex was signed in 2004 when he signed the first professional performance contract and that the same annex had been signed at each extension of the contract. His mother-in-law Vesna Juraić, who was the head of accounting at Dinamo and led Modrić’s bookkeeping at the time, is suspected of giving false testimony in connection with the same annex of the contract.
In the investigation, Modrić’s mother-in-law testified that the controversial annex was first seen only after his transfer, while during the hearing at the Osijek County Court, Juraić claimed that the club’s secretariat was awarded a contract and an annex to the contract for splitting the transfer in April 2008, or before Modric’s departure to Tottenham. Juraić has been questioned as a suspect in the meantime and has denied all claims.
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren was the last on the bench at the Osijek prosecutor’s office.
In Lovren’s case, an annex was signed in a contract giving Lovren the right to 50 percent of the compensation from his transfer to Olympique Lyon. While Lovren claimed in his testimony that the annex was signed before the transfer, the prosecution, based on the evidence obtained in the graphological case and other evidence in the case against Zdravko Mamić, argued that this annex was subsequently signed and backdated, forcing them to believe Lovren was lying.
For the continuation of the Zdravko Mamić trial which took place at the beginning of September in Osijek, Dejan Lovren, during the three and a half hours of his testimony, “did not remember” answers to numerous vital questions, just like his colleague Luka Modrić in June.
Lovren, therefore, changed his testimony from one that damaged Mamić for USKOK to one that benefited the former football leader in court.
As his attorneys confirmed, Lovren received a call for trial in the Osijek prosecution office, scheduled for January 2018.