Zagreb, October 3: A Croatian court rejected a perjury charge against Real Madrid's star midfielder Luka Modric, the regional court in the capital Zagreb announced on Wednesday. Modric, who won FIFA's best player award last month after leading Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final, was accused of giving false testimony during the trial of former Dinamo Zagreb manager Zdravko Mamic in June 2017, reports Efe news.
"On September 28, the Zagreb municipal criminal court rejected the accusation by the Osijek regional prosecutor's office from March 2, filed against Luka Modric, due to the criminal act of article 305 of the Criminal Code (which refers to false testimony)," a court spokesperson told Efe. Luka Modric of Croatia Wins FIFA Best Male Player of the Year 2018, Pips Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The decision is not final and can be appealed by the prosecutor's office, the spokesperson added. In Croatia, perjury is punishable by up to five years in prison. The alleged false testimony involved details of Modric's contracts as a Dinamo player, which according to the prosecutor's office may have illegally benefited Mamic, who was the club's manager at the time.
Mamic is accused of embezzling funds from player transfers - including Modric's move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 - possibly totalling 15 million euros ($18.4 million). In March, the prosecutor's office said it believed Modric's statements were not credible and that he modified his testimony with the intention of benefiting his former boss. 2018 FIFA World Cup: Croatia’s Luka Modric Takes a Jibe at English Football Pundits & Journalists After Defeating England 2-1.
Mamic was sentenced in June, along with three others, to six and a half years in jail but fled to neighbouring Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has not extradited him because he holds both Croatian and Bosnian citizenship.