‘I am the victim’: ‘Strong and confident’ Harry Maguire maintains his innocence and says he will appeal against conviction for assault and trying to bribe Greek police
- Maguire, 27, was given a 21-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of assault following his arrest after a brawl on the Greek island of Mykonos
- The footballer, who is the world’s most expensive defender, was not present at the trial on the Island of Syros today
- It caps a nightmare few days for the star who plans to appeal his conviction and was this evening dropped from Gareth Southgate’s England squad
England and Manchester Untied star Harry Maguire has today claimed he is the victim after his conviction for assault and trying to bribe Greek police which he now plans to appeal.
Maguire, 27, was given a 21-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of assault following his arrest after a brawl last week on the island of Mykonos.
The footballer, who is the world’s most expensive defender, was not present at the trial on the Island of Syros. He was found guilty of assault, swearing in public, and attempting to bribe a police officer.
It caps a nightmare few days for the United star who plans to appeal his conviction and was this evening dropped from Gareth Southgate’s England squad to face Iceland and Denmark in the UEFA Nations League.
Harry Maguire leaves a court building on the Aegean island of Syros, Greece. Court officials in Greece, on Saturday
In a statement today he said: ‘Following the hearing today, I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing.
‘I remain strong and confident regarding our innocence in this matter – if anything myself, family and friends are the victims.’
The conviction and being dropped from Southgate’s squad will inevitably prompt questions about his captaincy of arguably the largest club in the world.
Maguire’s insistence he has done nothing wrong while embarking on an appeals process means the furore is likely to drag on, which will concern both his national and club manager.
Southgate, who previously named Maguire in his squad despite his legal woes, said in a statement this evening: ‘In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark.
‘As I said earlier today, I reserved the right to review the situation. Having spoken to Manchester United and the player, I have made this decision in the best interests of all parties and with consideration of the impact on our preparations for next week.’
Daisy Maguire shared this photo of herself with brother Harry hours before his trial started in Greece
Two other defendants, including Maguire’s brother Joe, were also found guilty on similar charges and handed 13-month sentences. The sentences for all three defendants were suspended for three years.
The court heard today how Maguire told Greek police ‘don’t you know who I am? I’m the captain of Man Utd’, before attempting to bribe officers after his chaotic bar brawl in Mykonos last week.
The £85m star flew home on Sunday and remained in the UK ahead of his trial.
A spokesman for Maguire’s club today said: ‘Manchester United notes the verdict of the Greek court today. Harry Maguire pleaded not guilty to all of the misdemeanour charges made against him and he continues to strongly assert his innocence.
How the chaotic Mykonos brawl involving Manchester United captain Harry Maguire unfolded
- Harry Maguire and friends return to their minibus after a night out in Mykonos last week.
- His sister Daisy is approached by two ‘Albanian-looking’ men as the rest of the group pick up burgers and kebabs.
- Fern, Maguire’s fiance, then notices that Daisy’s eyes are ‘rolling into the back of her head’ and she starts having a fit.
- The group, believing Daisy was injected with a date rape drug, clash with the ‘Albanians’, before taking Daisy to the minibus.
- However, while on the way to hospital they are stopped by undercover police officers.
- Thinking they are about to be kidnapped, the group clashes with police, with Maguire, Christopher Sharman and his brother Joe taken outside of the van.
- After clashes with police, they are then taken to the police station.
- Here, it is alleged that the three men continued abusing and assaulting police officers, with the Maguire brothers allegedly attempting to bribe officers.
- The rest of the party, including Daisy, returned to their villa while the three accused spent two nights in jail.
‘It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defence team minimal time to digest them and prepare. A request for the case to be adjourned was subsequently denied.
‘On this basis, along with the substantial body of evidence refuting the charges, Harry Maguire’s legal team will now appeal the verdict, to allow a full and fair hearing at a later date.’
His lawyers represented him in court and his father Alan arrived shortly after 11am local time ahead of the trial.
Today, Maguire’s lawyer claimed in court that the footballer’s sister Daisy was injected with a date rape drug by two mysterious Albanian men outside the bar the defendants were at.
Daisy collapsed, triggering a brawl, and police rushed to the scene, with the Albanians fleeing, the court was told.
The court heard that Maguire and his group asked to be taken to hospital after the brawl, but were stopped by undercover police.
After more violent clashes, the three accused were driven to a police station, where officers kicked Maguire on the leg and told him: ‘Your career is over’.
However, officer Mickolos Kolios claimed while giving evidence that Maguire began pushing officers and getting verbally abusive.
He claimed the footballer and his brother Joe tried to bribe officers, with Harry saying: ‘Do you know who I am? I am the captain of Manchester United. I am very rich. I can give you money. I can pay you, please let us go.’
The court also heard that Maguire said ‘f*** the police both inside and outside the station.
All six of the officers involved in the incident were plainclothes police officers conducting covert patrols in Mykonos town on Thursday night.
Only four gave evidence at Maguire’s trial.
Officer Georgios Gilembesis told the court that Maguire and his friends were seen fighting with a group of other men beside a black van last Thursday night in Mykonos town.
He said that he was accompanied by five other officers who were all in plain clothes.
After approaching the van, Mr Gilembesis said that they identified themselves as police officers.
He said: ‘We told them we were policemen and showed them our identity cards.’
It is reported that Maguire was taunted in Mykonos before getting involved in an altercation
The officer claimed that two men who he now knows to be Harry and Joe Maguire began verbally and physically abusing some of the officers present.
He said that officers then asked the van driver to follow them to Mykonos police station where the attack on them by the two brothers continued.
Gelebessis said all three defendants started shouting in English: ‘F**k the police, f**k you.’
Gelebessis also revealed bruises on his right arm — injuries allegedly sustained during the scuffle with the defendants.
All policemen involved went to the local clinic in Mykonos for treatment of injuries, he claimed.
He said the defendants ‘did not appear to have consumed large amounts of alchohol. They were walking and talking fine.’
Chistos Atreidis, one of the officers who arrested Maguire told the court: ‘We didn’t know who he was at the time and it wouldn’t have made any difference.
‘When we got back to the police station, he said he was the leader of Manchester United and said ‘I am a rich man. I have a lot of money.’
Police officer Ioannis Stretzos added that after arriving at the station, Maguire informed the officers that he is the captain of Manchester United.
He claimed that Maguire asked them to ‘name your price’ and told them that he was a ‘very rich man’ who had a lot of money.
Mr Stretzos added that he was not aware that Maguire was the captain of Manchester United until he told police officers himself.
He added that he responded to Maguire in English with ‘I don’t understand what you want.’
He also claimed that after being brought into Mykonos police station the two Maguire brothers and their friend continued to verbally and physically abuse officers.
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