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‘I was scared for my life’: Harry Maguire claims Greek police attacked him


Manchester United star Harry Maguire has this evening broken his silence and claimed that Greek police attacked him and taunted him while hitting him in the legs saying he ‘won’t play again.’ 

A visibly emotional Maguire was interviewed on BBC News tonight for the first time since he was handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence following a brawl of the island of Mykonos last week. 

The England defender yesterday announced he is appealing the decision made against him in a court on the Greek island of Syros. 

Maguire, who asked the BBC to keep his current location secret, vowed to fight to clear his name is declared: ‘I’m confident the truth will be told.’

He said: ‘I don’t feel like I owe an apology to anybody, an apology is for when you’ve done something wrong.

‘I regret being in the situation. Obviously the situation’s made it difficult, I play for one of the biggest clubs in the world so I regret putting the fans and the club through this.’

The world’s most expensive defender also denied claims he bribed police officers calling the statement read out in court ‘ridiculous’ and described claims he was attacked by Greek police.

A shaken Maguire said: ‘My initial thought was that we are being kidnapped. We got on our knees and put our hands in the air and then they just started hitting us in the legs saying my career’s over, no more football, you won’t play again. 

‘At this point I thought there was no chance these are police, I don’t know who they are so I tried to run away, I feared for my life.’ 

Harry Maguire is pictured above leaving the court building on the Aegean Island of Syros

Harry Maguire is pictured above leaving the court building on the Aegean Island of Syros

The £85million defender is staying at a secret location abroad with girlfriend Fern Hawkins, 26, MailOnline exclusively revealed yesterday.

He is expected to return to the UK when he reports for training next Wednesday at United’s Carrington training ground with the rest of the players. 

The England defender has vowed to clear his name and claims he and his family ‘are the victims’. 

United said Maguire’s legal team filed the appeal today and that it has been accepted.

The father-of-two’s conviction yesterday will now ‘lie idle’ until the outcome of his appeal, which could take up to three years. 

This means that although his initial conviction stands, he will not be given a criminal record because the case has not finished.

If he loses his appeal, his conviction will become definitive and he will receive a record.

Prosecution lawyer Ioannis Paradissis told MailOnline: ‘The verdict and the convictions stand. And they are valid. But they are idle because of the appeal that has been lodged.

Tonight, a visibly emotional Maguire refused to apologise for his conviction and that he was attacked by police who battered his legs and taunted him saying his career was over

Tonight, a visibly emotional Maguire refused to apologise for his conviction and that he was attacked by police who battered his legs and taunted him saying his career was over

Harry Maguire's case could hang over his head for up to three years before an appeal against his assault conviction is heard again

Harry Maguire’s case could hang over his head for up to three years before an appeal against his assault conviction is heard again

‘If the defendant gets acquitted then all charges are dropped. If he does not then he will get a criminal record .

How long will Maguire’s appeal process take and what will it involve?

Maguire’s club Manchester United today confirmed their superstar defender had filed an appeal against his conviction in the Greek courts yesterday.

The footballer’s legal team will have drawn up a Statement of Appeal and then submitted it to the court in Syros where the trial was heard.  

The appeal is forwarded to the public prosecutor and then you are set an appeal date – essentially a retrial – at court.

However this process can take between one and three years depending on certain variables such as whether the defendant is in custody.

Maguire’s legal team can call on new evidence for the appeal. His defence team has already they hope crucial video and medical evidence will absolve the superstar player.  

The father-of-two’s conviction yesterday will now ‘lie idle’ until the outcome of his appeal, which could take up to three years.

This means that although his initial conviction stands, he will not be given a criminal record because the case has not finished.

If he loses his appeal, his conviction will become definitive and he will receive a record.

Prosecution lawyer Ioannis Paradissis told MailOnline: ‘The verdict and the convictions stand. And they are valid. But they are idle because of the appeal that has been lodged.

‘If the defendant gets acquitted then all charges are dropped. If he does not then he will get a criminal record .

‘Harry does not have a criminal record now because the process is ongoing, not because he has been acquitted or cleared of any charges.’

As per international travel, Paradissis said there was never any issue of him being barred from travelling.  

‘Harry does not have a criminal record now because the process is ongoing, not because he has been acquitted or cleared of any charges.’

As per international travel, Paradissis said there was never any issue of him being barred from travelling.  

A statement from Manchester United issued today says: ‘An appeal against yesterday’s verdict was lodged this morning by Harry’s legal team. 

‘In accordance with the Greek judicial process, the filing of an appeal extinguishes the initial court verdict and nullifies the conviction.

‘The appeal has been accepted and will lead to a full retrial in a more senior court. 

‘This means that Harry has no criminal record and is once again presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

‘Accordingly, he is not subject to any international travel restrictions.’ 

The world’s most expensive defender was not present at the trial on the nearby island of Syros on Tuesday, when he was also found guilty of swearing in public.

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. 

Harry’s fiancée Fern Hawkins retweeted a breaking news alert announcing the successfully lodged appeal, with a series of ‘applause’ emojis.   

It comes after Harry’s brother said there is ‘no chance’ of Harry apologising following his conviction. 

Prosecutor Yoannis Paradissis, who represents the officers Harry was found guilty of assaulting, has said the footballer’s conviction could be overturned if he apologises – but Harry’s brother Laurence insists that will not happen. 

‘Absolute no chance Harry will be apologising,’ Laurence Maguire tweeted today – a message which was retweeted by Ms Hawkins. 

A key part of Harry’s defence was that he, his brother and a friend had gone to the aid of Daisy, who fainted on a night out in Mykonos after being injected with a date-rape drug by ‘two Albanians’ they did not know, who then fled.

Mr Paradissis had claimed the Manchester United captain’s 20-year-old sister Daisy said nothing about being drugged by Albanians when interviewed by police.

In his tweet today, Laurence Maguire said: ‘Daisy and no one in the group was interviewed by the police.’

Harry is now facing a wait of up to three years before an appeal against his assault conviction is heard in the Greek courts, as the footballer tries to clear his name.   

Stavroula Tomara, a leading criminal rights attorney in Athens, said the process would take at least 12 months and could last as long as three.

Harry Maguire's lawyer said he would challenge the conviction in a Greek court

Harry Maguire’s lawyer said he would challenge the conviction in a Greek court

‘Until then,’ she told MailOnline, ‘the conviction will hang over Maguire’s head’.

Ms Tomara said: ‘It would be at least a year for the appeal to be heard by another court in Syros.

‘Regional courts are faster. But even in this case it will be at least a year. In many cases it takes between two and three (years).’

Last night his lawyer said the Manchester United captain would challenge the conviction and has ten days to formally lodge his appeal, though he advised the three-member tribunal of his clients’ immediately after it rendered the damning convictions.  

A court clerk in Syros, where the case was heard yesterday, told MailOnline that the appeal is expected to be submitted today.

Maguire launched an immediate appeal after being given a suspended prison sentence for his part in the early-hours brawl on the holiday island on Friday.

Before the incident he had been enjoying a pleasant get-away on the idyllic Greek island

Before the incident he had been enjoying a pleasant get-away on the idyllic Greek island

Before the incident he had been enjoying a pleasant get-away on the idyllic Greek island

Speaking about the appeals process this morning, Mr Paradissis, who represented the police officers in court yesterday, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The appeal process in Greece is a retrial, the trial starts afresh.

‘So obviously if, I believe there is still time for the three defendants to say they are sorry, and then I believe that the outcome might be different.

‘Under Greek law you can withdraw some accusations regarding non-aggravated bodily harm and concerning the verbal assault, the insults that were shouted at the policemen.’ 

Asked whether the police would accept this, Mr Paradissis said: ‘Well I don’t know, but they told me they are still waiting for an apology and they haven’t heard any.

‘And this is what I find quite shocking and quite unsportmanship (sic), because fair play means when I’ve done something wrong, I apologise or at least I say I’m sorry for what happened to the other person.’

Lawyer Yoannis Paradissis claimed the captain's sister said nothing about being drugged by Albanians when she was interviewed by police

Lawyer Yoannis Paradissis claimed the captain’s sister said nothing about being drugged by Albanians when she was interviewed by police

Mr Paradissis added: ‘No one from the Maguire family was heard. We still haven’t heard his position, what happened, because I’m representing some policemen that have been hit, they have injuries.

‘We have the three defendants, they say they are not guilty, but on the other side they don’t explain how these injuries were made.’

Harry Maguire’s father Alan Maguire left Syros after the court case yesterday on a small boat with the footballer’s friend Ashden Morley who gave evidence.

One onlooker told MailOnline: ‘They looked completely fed up. They were wearing face masks, but their body language was that they were in a hurry to get going as the rig was being prepared to leave.’

It is thought the two men headed back to Mykonos, where the incident happened.

This morning, asked about Maguire claiming that he and his friends were the victims, Mr Paradissis said: ‘We don’t have the same definition of what a victim is then, because how can you be a victim, and the policemen that have been assaulted, hit, that were just doing their job, and they went home on the day with injuries – how can they not be a victim?

And speaking about claims Maguire’s sister had been injected with a drug, Mr Paradissis added: ‘Sure, but obviously that’s irrelevant concerning the assault committed against the police officers.

‘In any case, what is strange concerning this case about the sister is that the sister was interviewed by police and she said nothing about that to the police. This is a new line of defence that we heard recently.’

Asked if Maguire would have known the police officers were police officers, Mr Paradissis said: ‘Of course, because that’s the first thing they said. The police officers were there for other duties and they heard a brawl.



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