Luka Modric could face five years in jail if found guilty after Croatian authorities opened an investigation into possible perjury.
The Real Madrid superstar is currently a key witness in the trial of Zdravko Mamic, a former chief executive of Dinamo Zagreb who oversaw the transfer of Modric to Tottenham in 2008.
Mamic is being prosecuted for various things, including tax fraud and embezzlement, and part of the dispute relates to him keeping a hefty chunk of the fee Spurs paid for Modric. That he pocketed the money is not in dispute – but Mamic denies there was anything unlawful about doing so.
The contract stipulated that the fee was to be shared on a 50-50 basis between the club and the player.
However the prosecution in the high-profile case are trying to prove it was only signed and backdated after the midfielder had already been sold.
Modric initially confirmed this was the case, but then backtracked, claiming he was confused.
‘When speaking about that, I was talking about a personal contract between Mamic and me, which regulated the split of the transfer fee,’ said the midfielder.
The State Attorney’s Office (DORH), suspecting foul play, has opened up an investigation of possible perjury.
‘State Attorney’s Office in Osijek opened the investigation against Croatian citizen (1985) due to the existence of reasonable doubt that when giving testimony before the County Court in Osijek committed a crime against justice by giving false testimony under Article 305, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code / 11. (6th 19th 2017).
‘There is a reasonable doubt that on 13 June 2017 at the Osijek County Court, during a hearing in a criminal case against the first accused Croatian citizen (1970) and others, for the criminal offence of abuse of position and authority in Article 291, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the CC / 11; although he was warned that a witness is obliged to tell the truth and that is giving a false statement offence; examined as a witness falsely testified that the annex to the agreement.’
Croatian law stipulates those found guilty of perjury face between six months and five years in prison.