September 19, 2018 / 4:03 PM / a month ago

Croatia charges Liverpool's Lovren with false testimony

    ZAGREB, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Croatian state attorney has
charged Croatia international and Liverpool defender Dejan
Lovren with giving false testimony in a trial against officials
of his former club, the attorney's office in the eastern city of
Osijek said on Wednesday.
    As is a usual practice in Croatia, the statement did not
name Lovren but said it charged a 29-year old Croatian citizen,
citing details from his testimony given a year ago.
    Croatian media, including the state television website,
reported that Lovren was charged. No one was available at
Liverpool to comment on the case to Reuters on Lovren's behalf. 
    In March this year, the state attorney also charged another
Croatia international, Real Madrids midfielder Luka Modric, for
false testimony in the same case.             
    Lovren testified at the trial of a tax official and three
former senior officials from the soccer club Dinamo Zagreb,
including its former chief executive Zdravko Mamic, about the
dates of signing the annexes to his professional contracts which
regulated transfer fees.
    The Dinamo officials were charged with avoiding paying 12.2
million kuna ($1.92 million) in taxes and diverting 116 million
kuna from the soccer club.            . All of them denied any
wrongdoing.
    Lovren moved to Lyon from Dinamo Zagreb in 2010 and then
joined Southampton in 2013 and Liverpool a year later. He and
Modric both played in the Croatia team that was defeated 4-2 by
France in the 2018 World Cup final.  
    A conviction for false testimony brings a jail term of
between six months and five years.
    Former Dinamo boss Zdravko Mamic fled to neighbouring Bosnia
earlier this year briefly before being sentenced to prison in
Croatia.             
    ($1 = 6.3620 kuna)

 (Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
  
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