Croatian prosecutors again on Thursday accused former national and international team captain Dejan Lovren of giving false testimony in a major football-related corruption trial.
In 2017, the two players appeared as witnesses during the multimillion-euro corruption trial involving former Dinamo Zagreb coach Zdravko Mamić, and gave details of their transfers from the current Croatian champions.
At that time, Modric testified about the details of his transfer in 2008 from Dynamo to Tottenham, England, before moving to Spanish Real Madrid in 2012. As for Lovren, he provided details of his transfer in 2010 from Dynamo to French Lyon, to which he returned this year.
Both players were charged with perjury in 2018, but charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence, against Modric the same year and for Lovren in early 2019.
Prosecutors in the eastern town of Osijek on Thursday charged two people, citing only the years they were born and accusing them of “giving perjury”. Local media said they were Modric and Lovren.
Modric is accused of giving false testimony “on June 13, 2017 before the Osijek County Court,” according to a statement from prosecutors, citing the date the star midfielder testified during Mamic’s trial, and on “July 1, 2017” to Lovren.
Giving false testimony in Croatia carries a prison sentence of up to five years.
Mamic and three others were found guilty of abuse of power and corruption charges that cost Dinamo more than 15 million euros and the state 1.5 million euros.
According to the indictment, the funds were misappropriated through bogus player transfer deals.
Mamic, who is a mainstay in Croatian football and is currently hiding in neighboring Bosnia, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.
Modric, the 2018 Golden Ball holder, was convicted just days after Real Madrid announced that the 37-year-old would stay with the club for another season after renewing his contract until June 2024.