Liverpool defender and World Cup finalist Dejan Lovren was charged with perjury on Wednesday.
September 20, 2018 – Dejan Lovren, the 29-year-old defender for Liverpool and Croatia who is also known as an Instagram star, hotel owner, clothing brand co-creator, and war refugee, was charged with perjury before the Osijek County Court on Wednesday in the trial against Zdravko Mamić. After Luka Modrić, Lovren is the second famous World Cup finalist wrapped up in the Mamić trial. Recall, Mamić & Co. have been accused of damaging football club Dinamo Zagreb for some 116 million kuna. The famous ‘football fugitive’ was sentenced to six and a half years in jail this summer, though he has been in hiding in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The news of Lovren broke after the County State Attorney’s Office in Osijek released a statement which read:
“The County State Attorney’s Office in Osijek filed an indictment against a Croatian citizen (1989) before the Osijek County Court for committing the criminal offense of giving false testimony under Article 305, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code (19 September 2018).
The defendant is charged that on 1 September 2017 at the Osijek County Court; during the trial of a criminal case against four defendants for criminal offenses of abuse of position and power under Art. 291 para 1 and 2 of the CC, although the trial judge warned him that he was obliged to state the truth and that giving false testimony was a criminal offense; knowingly untruthfully stated that the annex to the professional gaming contract, on which the concluding date was announced as January 9, 2007, which regulates the distribution of the transfer allowance between him as a player and a parent club in the ratio of 50:50 percent, was signed shortly after the signing of his professional gaming contract with the club from 1 January 2007, though he knew that this did not correspond to the truth, because he did not sign the annex to the contract at that time.”
The footballer has responded to the charges in a lengthy and emotional Instagram post, claiming that the news broke about the indictment before he received the indictment himself.
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Nakon dolaska s popodnevnog treninga doznao sam kako su mediji u Hrvatskoj, pa potom i u Engleskoj objavili vijest kako je protiv mene podignuta optužnica zbog davanja lažnog iskaza u jednom predmetu u Hrvatskoj. Zvali su me članovi moje obitelji, prijatelji i poznanici koji su mi saopćili isto. Dakle, prije nego što sam uopće vidio ili primio tu optužnicu, i prije nego su istu zaprimili moji odvjetnici, svi mediji su objavili tu vijest. Ovo jednostavno nije fer, nije pravedno, nije niti sportski. Na ovakav način postupati prema meni i mojoj obitelji je krajnje diskriminirajuće i nepravično. Borba koja nije poštena i na koju nisam navikao. No ovim putem želim poručiti svima, ponajprije svojoj obitelji, prijateljima, navijačima u domovini, svom klubu i navijačima mog kluba u Engleskoj kako sam nevin. Nisam počinio nikakvo kazneno djelo. Ponosan sam na svoj život, na svaki svoj korak, na sve ono što smo moja obitelj i ja stvorili. To nitko ne može zaprljati. Nikakvi mediji, zlonamjerni ljudi, ništa. S obzirom da sam sportaš, dobit ću i ovu utakmicu. Dobit ću je u svakom slučaju te tako pokazati tko sam, kako sam živio i kako živim. A živim tako da živim za svoje bližnje, za svoju Domovinu, za svoj klub i za sve moje i naše navijače. Sa indignacijom odbacujem sve optužbe, a svima koji žele narušiti moj ugled i ugled moje obitelji poručujem da neće uspjeti. Dejan Lovren dobit će i ovu bitku. I svaku drugu. Pozdrav svima, hvala na snažnoj podršci.
“After coming back from afternoon training, I learned that the media in Croatia and then in England reported the news that an indictment was filed against me for giving a false statement in one case in Croatia. My family, friends and acquaintances told me the same thing. So before I saw or received the indictment at all, and before my attorneys received it, all the media reported the news.
This is simply not fair, not just, not sportsmanlike. In this way, acting on me and my family is extremely discriminatory and unfair. A fight that is not fair and I’m not used to it.
But I want to say this to all, especially to my family, friends, and supporters in my country, my club and my club’s fans in England, that I am innocent. I did not commit any criminal offense. I am proud of my life, every step of my life, everything that my family and I have created. No one can get dirty. No media, malicious people, nothing.
Since I’m an athlete, I’ll get this match. I’ll get it, in any case, to show you who I am, how I lived and how I live. And I live so that I live for my neighbor, for my homeland, for my club and for all of my and our fans.
With indignation, I dismiss all accusations, and to anyone who wants to ruin my reputation and the reputation of my family, I say they will not succeed. Dejan Lovren will also get this battle. And all others.
Greetings to you all, thanks for the strong support.”
Recall, Lovren is in hot water specifically for his transfer from Dinamo to Olympique Lyon in 2010, when an annex was signed in the contract giving Lovren 50% of the transfer fee, which Lovren then mostly forwarded to the Mamić family. The footballer claimed that the annex was signed before he completed his transfer to Lyon, though evidence found that the annex was backdated and signed after his transfer to the French club. Lovren also falsely claimed that he was in Croatia to sign for his 50 percent share, though he was in France at the time.