Liverpool's Dejan Lovren charged with false testimony in Dinamo Zagreb trial
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren was charged by the Croatia state attorney's office with false testimony in a trial against officials at Dinamo Zagreb, one of his former clubs, it said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The statement did not name Lovren, as is customary in Croatia, but said it charged a 29-year old Croatian citizen and cited details from the testimony Lovren gave a year ago. State broadcaster HRT also reported that Lovren was the individual charged.
A conviction for false testimony brings a jail term of between six months and five years. Liverpool did not immediately respond to requests for comment by ESPN FC when contacted Wednesday evening, but writing on Instagram, Lovren, who said he found about the charges through the media, denied his guilt.
"I want to tell everyone that I'm innocent," he wrote. "I did not commit any criminal offense. I'm proud of my life, of what my family and I have achieved. ... I reject all accusations with indignation. I will win this battle."
Lovren testified at the trial of a tax official and three former senior officials from Dinamo, including former chief executive Zdravko Mamic, regarding the date he signed additional clauses in his professional contract that 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 club, though all denied any wrongdoing.
Lovren was questioned in March, at which point an investigation into his testimony was opened.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was charged in March for giving false testimony in the same case.
Lovren moved to Lyon from Dinamo in 2010, joined Southampton in 2013 and then signed for Liverpool a year later. He and Modric both represented Croatia in the World Cup, losing in the final to France.
Mamic fled to Bosnia and Herzegovina earlier this year before being sentenced to prison in Croatia.