Wednesday 18 July 2018

Real Madrid star Luka Modric could face five years in prison after perjury charge

Luka Modric facing the threat of a jail sentence
Luka Modric facing the threat of a jail sentence
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Real Madrid star Luka Modric faces up to five years in jail after being charged with perjury in his Croatian homeland.

Croatia's state attorney has charged the country's national team captain with giving false testimony in a criminal trial that looked into his move from Dinamo Zagreb to Tottenham in 2008.

Modric has been charged after allegedly making false statements at the tax fraud trial of Zdravko Mamic, a former executive director at Dinamo Zagreb and numerous other transfers involving the club.

The midfielder appeared in court in June 2017 to give his account of Mamic's role in his transfer from Dinamo to Tottenham, with investigators suggesting cash was embezzled via deals where Mr Mamic, his brother Zoran and two others took a cut from the sales of players.

The quartet are accused of corruption that reportedly cost Dinamo Zagreb more than €15m and the state €1.5m.

The charges revolve around when Modric signed clauses in his contract ahead of his move to Tottenham, with authorities suggesting the player did not agree to the revised deal in 2004, as he had suggested in court.

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Luka Modric arrives at the courthouse in Osijek, eastern Croatia back in 2017 (AP)

Croatian authorities believes the player changed his testimony in favour of Mr Mamic, with the sentence that could be handed to Modric ranging between six months and five years.

Asked for comment, a Real Madrid spokesperson said: "Our official comments are made through our official media channels."

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