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Croatian prosecutors charge Lovren over possible perjury

Zagreb (AFP) – Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren was charged on Wednesday over alleged perjury at the trial of Zdravko Mamic, the former Dinamo Zagreb boss.

In line with Croatian law, prosecutors did not name Lovren but said in a statement they brought charges against a “Croatian citizen born in 1989 suspected of … giving false testimony” on September 1 last year before a local tribunal.

Local media said the details of the indictment, yet to be approved by the court, made it is clear that the accused is Lovren who on that date testified at the trial of Mamic over his 2010 transfer from Dinamo to French side Lyon.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric already faces similar charges.

According to prosecutors, Lovren “intentionally falsely said” he signed an annex of a contract with Dinamo over fees for future transfers shortly after signing the contract in January 2007.

They say that Lovren also falsely claimed both that he had personally signed 2010 requests for payment of his 50 percent share in transfer and that he was in Croatia at the time. “He was in France then,” the prosecutors said.

Mamic was sentenced in June to six-and-a-half years in prison over multi-million-euro graft that cost the former Croatian champions more than 15 million euros ($18.5 million), and the state 1.5 million euros.

Cash was allegedly embezzled through fictitious deals related to player transfers, notably those of Lovren and of Modric to Tottenham.

Modric was charged in March with committing perjury at the trial held in the eastern town of Osijek.

The offence carries up to five years in jail. 

The Croatia captain’s indictment has yet to be approved by a court and the 33-year-old Modric, who won the Golden Ball for the World Cup’s best player, is currently not threatened with arrest.

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