Croatian prosecutors investigate Lovren over false testimony


Zagreb (AFP)

Croatian prosecutors questioned Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren on Monday and opened an investigation into alleged false testimony at the trial of Zdravko Mamic, Dinamo Zagreb's former boss.

The prosecutors, in line with Croatian law, did not name Lovren but said in a statement they had questioned a "Croatian citizen born in 1989 suspected of ... giving false testimony" on September 1 last year before a local tribunal.

At the time Lovren testified at the trial of Mamic over his 2010 transfer from Dinamo to French side Lyon.

"After the questioning the suspect was informed that an investigation against him is opened," the statement said.

Mamic is accused -- along with three other people -- of abuse of power and corruption that cost the former Croatian champions more than 15 million euros ($18.5 million), and the state 1.5 million euros.

Cash was allegedly embezzled through fictitious deals related to player transfers, including notably Lovren and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.

Modric was charged earlier this month with giving false testimony at the trial held in the eastern town of Osijek.

The offence carries up to five years in jail.

The Croatia captain's indictment has yet to be approved by a court and, with four months to go before the World cup, the 32-year-old Modric is currently not threatened with arrest.

According to prosecutors, Lovren falsely said he signed an annex of a contract with Dinamo over fees for future transfers with a "50-50 share" shortly after signing the contract in January 2007.

They say that Lovren also falsely claimed both that he had personally signed 2010 requests for payment of his 50 percent share in transfer and that he was in Croatia at the time although "he was in France then," the prosecutors said.