Friday 28 July 2017

Real Madrid star Luka Modric questioned over perjury accusations

Luka Modric arrives at the courthouse in Osijek, eastern Croatia (AP)
Luka Modric arrives at the courthouse in Osijek, eastern Croatia (AP)

Football star Luka Modric has been questioned by Croatian prosecutors over accusations that he gave false evidence about his financial deals with a former Dinamo Zagreb director charged with embezzlement and tax fraud.

"I came here to state my defence and tell the truth, like every time so far," Modric said after questioning for suspected perjury in the eastern town of Osijek. "My conscience is clear."

Prosecutors have said the Real Madrid midfielder gave a false statement to a court last month about his 2008 transfer from Dinamo to Tottenham Hotspur. He moved to Real Madrid in 2012.

Modric, the Croatia captain, told the court he had a deal with former Dinamo director Zdravko Mamic to pay the club 50% of the 21 million euro contract.

Mamic, who denies wrongdoing, allegedly took an unspecified chunk.

Modric is suspected of changing his evidence in favour of Mamic during the trial, compared with a statement he gave to prosecutors earlier in the investigation.

The focus was on the date when he made a written deal with Mamic, before or after the money was paid.

If charged and found guilty, Modric could face up to five years in prison.

Prosecutors accuse Mamic, his brother and two others of embezzling 15 million euros of the club's money since 2008 on player transfer deals from Dinamo to foreign clubs, and not paying 1.6 million euros in taxes.

All four have denied the charges.

Mamic is considered the most powerful person in Croatian football with substantial political influence.

AP

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