Real Madrid superstar Luka Modric facing upto five years in prison
After Cristiano Ronaldo's troubles with the law, Real Madrid's Luka Modric could be in some serious trouble too!
What’s the story?
After the Cristiano Ronaldo tax-fiasco, Real Madrid are facing another tumultuous legal issue, but this time it’s not in Spain. Croatia's Luka Modric is under investigation for suspected perjury after his testimony in the trial of the former Vice President of the Croatian FA and former Chief Executive Office of Dinamo Zagreb, Zdravko Mamic. This has been revealed by the Croatia State Attorney’s Office.
If found guilty, the midfield maestro faces a jail sentence that can range anywhere from six months to five years!
In case you didn’t know
Modric is a key witness in the Mamic trial where the former official stands accused of, amongst other things, embezzlement, and tax fraud. One of the main charges leveled against him involves Modric’s transfer for Dinamo Zagreb to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 for a then club record £16.5 million. Mamic is charged with keeping a sizeable chunk for himself in this deal rather than handing it over to the Zagreb giants.
The disputed part is an annexure to the main contract which stipulates that the transfer fee is to be split 50-50 between the player and the club. This deal was negotiated while Mamic was the Chief Executive, and the Croatian prosecutors are aiming to prove that the 50-50 annexure was only signed and added AFTER the player had been sold (by making it backdated)
The heart of the matter
Modric had initially confirmed that this was indeed the case, but later he changed the details of this initial statement WHILE IN COURT saying that he got confused. “When speaking about that, I was talking about a personal contract between Mamic and me, which regulated the split of the transfer fee,” he said.
Since this essentially amounts to perjury, the State Attorney’s Office (DORH) have opened up an investigation into Modric’s conduct.
This is the full statement the DORH issued earlier today:
“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.”
Cutting all the legal jargon aside, the DORH are essentially accusing Luka Modric of lying in a court of law – and this perjury is punishable under Croatian law by upto five years in jail depending on the degree of perjury conducted.
The Croatian captain’s reputation had taken a massive hit right after the hearing in which he is accused of lying:
It doesn’t look good for the Real Madrid man, does it?
There is simply no excuse for perjury, and if found guilty, the Croatian courts are liable to make an example of Modric and sentence him to the severest punishment possible. This is exacerbated by the fury amongst the Croatian public who are desperate to see their corrupt footballing authorities taken to task – when their hero changed his testimony to support the perceived evil of Mamic, he instantly changed in their eyes and became a villain – the kind whose apathy promotes such brazen corruption in the still-young nation’s footballing system.
In pure footballing terms, any sentence would desperately affect both Croatia’s attempt to make it to the 2018 World Cup as well as Real Madrid’s chances of defending the La Liga and Champions League double next season.