Luka Modric Reportedly Investigated for Perjury During Zdravko Mamic Trial

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2017

Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric appears in court to testify in a corruption trial in Osijek on June 13, 2017.
Modric swapped his football kit for a suit as he appeared in the witness box to testify in a multi-million-euro corruption trial against Dinamo Zagreb's ex chairman. The 31-year-old star midfielder is to give evidence at the trial of controversial Zdravko Mamic, considered the most powerful man in Croatian football. / AFP PHOTO / STR        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
STR/Getty Images

Luka Modric is reportedly being investigated for perjury by Croatian authorities in relation to his testimony in Zdravko Mamic's corruption trial.

Football writer Aleksandar Holiga relayed the news from the Croatia State Attorney Office:

Per Goal, Mamic—the former vice president of the Croatian FA and former president of Dinamo Zagreb—is accused of taking €20 million out of Dinamo.

Modric, who played for Zagreb before his move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008, has spoken at his trial.

Per journalist Rusty Woodger, the playmaker has received abuse after changing his testimony:

According to Holiga for the Independent, Mamic took a significant sum of Modric's transfer fee from Spurs and kept it for himself, which the investigation proved and the prosecution argue he did illegally. He is also charged with embezzlement and tax fraud.

Prior to becoming an executive at Dinamo, Mamic reportedly made an agreement with Modric that he would act as a benefactor to the player in exchange for a share of his future earnings.

As a result, Modric testified that when half of his reported €21 million transfer fee from Tottenham was paid directly to him, he would make a withdrawal at the bank after every instalment "accompanied by Mamic’s son or brother" and then give a cash payment to them.

Once Modric's transfer fee had been paid to him in full, Mamic reportedly had the full €10.5 million minus £1.7 million that Modric was allowed to keep.

Modric playing for Zagreb in 2007.
Modric playing for Zagreb in 2007.EVERT JAN DANIELS/Associated Press

Mamic has admitted as much himself, but last year, Modric said an agreement in the sale—which was negotiated by Mamic—that pertained to the transfer fee being split equally between Dinamo and himself "was only signed and backdated after" he had moved to White Hart Lane.

On Tuesday, the 31-year-old was presented with his statement from last year by prosecutor Tonci Petkovic, and nervously responded: "That… That I’ve never said…that it…that…that it was drawn up afterwards. I told you then that I couldn’t remember when it had been done."

He added: "When speaking about that, I was talking about a personal contract between Mamic and me, which regulated the split of the transfer fee."

The Croatia captain is said to have forgotten a number of other details including the year of his first senior international appearance. Modric first played for Croatia in 2006, ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

Holiga explained the penalty Modric could face if found guilty of perjury:

Liverpool's Dejan Lovren—who played for Zagreb between 2004 and 2010is also set to testify at the trial, but a recess was called on Wednesday after Mamic publicly fired his lawyers in the courtroom and vowed to represent himself.

The trial will not resume for several months:

Mamic is a controversial and unpopular figure in Croatia, with fans unhappy with the level of influence he has wielded at both Dinamo and within the FA.