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

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - Ex­clu­sive By Tom Mor­gan and Yan­nis-Orestis Pa­padim­itriou in Athens

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

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