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Croatian court rejects Luka Modric false testimony charge in tax fraud case

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A court in Croatia has rejected a charge against Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric of giving false testimony in a tax avoidance trial.

An email to Reuters by the Zagreb municipal criminal court said the court had rejected the charge, made by the Croatia state attorney in March, but gave no explanation of the ruling. The state attorney's office can appeal.

Local media reported that the reason the court had rejected the charge was that it had been "premature" in that it could not be raised before a final court decision in the tax avoidance trial.

Modric's lawyer, Laura Valkovic, told Reuters the defence had argued that the charge was premature. The final decision in the case is still pending while an appeal process continues.

Last year, Croatia international Modric testified at the trial of a tax official and three former senior officials of Dinamo Zagreb, including former chief executive Zdravko Mamic, about the dates of signing the annexes to his professional contracts that regulated transfer fees.

The state attorney's office said last year it was investigating allegations that Modric had given false testimony at the trial.

In June, Mamic was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison, shortly after leaving for Bosnia where he lives now.

The other two Dinamo officials and the tax official were also sentenced to jail. All denied wrongdoing and said they would challenge the verdict.

Last month Croatia's state attorney charged another Croatia international, Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, with the same offence as Modric.

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