London - A Zagreb court has rejected
charges that Croatia captain and Real Madrid star Luka Modric gave false
testimony in a corruption trial, a Croatian newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The decision, which can be appealed, came
just a week after Modric was crowned FIFA's best player of the year, after
starring for both his club and Croatia.
Croatian prosecutors charged Modric in
March with committing perjury during evidence he gave in the multi-million-euro
corruption trial of former Dinamo Zagreb boss Zdravko Mamic.
Modric, 33, testified in June last year
over the details of his 2008 transfer from Dinamo to Premier League club
He went on to join Real Madrid in 2012.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of up
to five years in jail.
But, the Zagreb municipal court decided not
to confirm the indictment - a step required by Croatian law for a trial to open
- according to an online report in the Vecernji List daily quoting the
The report could not be immediately
confirmed with the court.
Vecernji List said the court ruled that the
indictment was "premature", meaning it should have not been brought
before rulings in the trial against Mamic become final.
Mamic and three other defendants were found
guilty of charges of abuse of power and corruption that cost Dinamo, the
current Croatian champions, more than 15 million euros ($17.3 million), and the
state 1.5 million euros.
Mamic, who is currently in hiding in
neighbouring Bosnia, was sentenced in June to six and a half years in jail.
Prosecutors allege cash was embezzled
through fictitious deals related to player transfers.
Liverppool defender Dejan Lovren, who also
testified at the Mamic trial about his 2010 transfer from Dinamo to French side
Lyon, also faces perjury charges.