Maguire hires top human rights lawyer
Defence to say United captain was unfairly treated by police Today’s assault hearing could affect call-up for England duty
One of Greece’s top human rights specialists is set to lead the defence for Harry Maguire today as three judges consider the Manchester United captain’s claims that he was unfairly treated by police during his arrest on the island of Mykonos.
Maguire has hired Alexis Anagnostakis, 42, whose Athens-based criminal practice has fought a series of cases at the European Court of Human Rights and promises “extraordinary care” for clients including Amnesty International.
The Daily Telegraph understands the England international will not be present at the assault hearing, which is now listed as a misdemeanour offence, to be heard by three judges on the island of Syros.
Maguire, 27, his brother Joe, 28, and a friend, 29, deny police claims that they assaulted three officers and then attempted to bribe them to escape punishment following their arrest on Mykonos early on Friday.
There are no guarantees that the case will conclude today, leaving England manager Gareth Southgate with a potentially difficult decision as he announces his international squad this afternoon.
Maguire, however, is convinced he has a robust defence, and has been offered the support of the Professional Footballers’ Association.
United are thought to have helped in his choice of barrister.
Ahead of today’s hearing, a deep clean was reportedly launched at the courthouse in Syros, after an employee in the town hall complex’s financial services department tested positive for Covid-19 and others had shown symptoms.
United have been in touch with Maguire’s representatives to check on their £85million signing, who spent two nights in a cell before appearing in front of prosecutors in a hearing on Saturday.
Maguire is unlikely to face a prison sentence even if convicted as the case has been downgraded to a misdemeanour, and it has been reported that it is possible to buy his way out of a jail term if convicted and sentenced, as part of a scheme in Greece to ease overcrowding in prisons.
Greek reports have cited the start of the trouble occurring when Maguire’s sister, Daisy, was being harassed and then possibly stabbed in an arm. Maguire was believed to be among a party of six couples, made up of friends and family, who were out for the night in the Fabrika area of Mykonos.
United have not commented beyond acknowledging Maguire’s plea, insisting it is inappropriate while the legal process is ongoing. Maguire is unlikely to issue a public statement until after the trial.
Syros’s prosecutor’s office said that Maguire remained accused of “multiple instances of physical harm and multiple instances of revilement [shouting expletives]” as well as “multiple instances of attempted bribery”. However, Dr Gregory Ioannidis, a senior lecturer in Law at Sheffield Hallam University, said the charges looked set to be scaled down today.
Maguire was with United teammates Marcus Rashford and Brandon Williams during the day on the island, on their post-season break.
First hearing: Harry Maguire (wearing a cap) is pictured leaving the court building on the Aegean island of Syros on Saturday