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Harry Maguire maintains innocence and will appeal conviction

Manchester Untied star Harry Maguire posted on Instagram late Tuesday night saying the truth ‘cannot be hidden’ after being dropped by England following his conviction for assaulting and trying to bribe Greek police. 

Maguire, 27, was given a 21-month suspended sentence after he was convicted of all charges following the brawl in Mykonos. 

The £85million star – who plans to appeal the conviction – claimed he was the victim just hours after the court ruling and later posted a quote from Buddha to his two million Instagram followers.

It said: ‘Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth – Buddha.’  His sister Daisy posted exactly the same quote just hours after her brother was found guilty. 

Maguire’s legal woes forced Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate into an embarrassing climbdown as he dropped the 27-year-old from the England squad after initially naming him in the 24-man group to face Iceland and Denmark.

In a statement, Southgate said: ‘In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark.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.’  

The footballer, who is the world’s most expensive defender, was not present at the trial on the Island of Syros on Tuesday. He was found guilty of assault, swearing in public, and attempting to bribe a police officer. 

 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.  

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. 

Ioannis Paradissis, lawyer for two of the six policemen involved in the case told MailOnline that Maguire is a ‘disgrace’ and has ‘invented a pack of lies and has not had the decency to apologise.’

Mr Paradissis said: ‘He has insulted our police officers and he and his friends left three of them injured. They had to be taken to hospital and were brutally beaten by Maguire, his brother Joe and their friend.

‘Maguire and his friends then invented a story about Albanians attacking his sister. I’ve never heard such rubbish. This was a shameful attempt to cover up their disgusting behaviour and an insult to Albanians and the Greek police.

‘Maguire is a role model, he should hang his head in shame and return to Greece to apologise.’ 

Maguire’s brother Joe who plays for non-league team Ilkeston Town, was also found guilty of assault, attacking police and attempted bribery while a third man, 29-year-old Christopher Sharman, was guilty of two assault charges and another of verbal abuse.

All three had denied the charges based on the evidence of four policemen. 

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.

‘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.’ 

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.

‘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. 

Maguire’s friend Ashden Morley told the court that the Manchester United captain feared that he was being kidnapped or robbed when they were stopped by undercover police officers.

Mr Morley, a quantity surveyor from Sheffield and a childhood friend of Harry and Joe, said that the incident with the police started as the group returned to their minibus following a night out.

He said that Harry’s sister Daisy had been approached by ‘two Albanian looking men’ as some of the group wen to buy burgers and kebabs at around midnight.

He added: ‘Daisy was sat down about three metres away from us. She was approached by two Albanian looking gentlemen who asked her where she was from and she replied ‘Sheffield.’

‘They continued to stick around Daisy. Fern (Harry’s fiancé) then noticed that her eyes were rolling into the back of her head. So, she rushed across to Daisy. She then began fitting.

‘All the girls started screaming, other people were coming down and there was a real commotion.’

When asked by the Greek public prosecutor how Mr Morley knew the men were Albanian, he replied: ‘Because they looked it and had an Albanian nature.’  

The court heard that Maguire and his pals rushed off in a minibus to take her to hospital.

They then realised they were being followed by two cars behind them before the vehicle pulled up in a courtyard.

It has since been established the group of men in these cars were undercover police officers.

Mr Morley added: ‘The van we were in stopped and the door was pulled open by a man. We thought we were either being robbed or kidnapped. Everybody was very scared.’

He revealed that Harry and his friend Chris managed to flee the van.

Mr Morely added: ‘Harry later told me that he was trying to ring his agent to tell him that he needed help.

‘I looked out of the van and saw Harry and Chris kneeling on the ground with their hands up in the air and they were being kicked and stamped on.

‘We were all in the mini-bus with the doors open, all the girls were in hysterics, crying their eyes out.’ 

Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher led a defence of Maguire online, refuting the claims from Greek police. 

He wrote: ‘Absolute b******s! Every story/rumour someone tells about a footballer always starts with ‘Do you know who I am?’ I’ve never once heard any player say that!!’ 

Maguire’s brother Laurence tweeted: ‘This is crazy… anyone who knows Harry now knows this whole story is fabricated.’ 

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.’

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. 

He was joined by family friend Ashden Morley, who is a witness in the case. 

Mr Morley is set to give evidence he claims will clear all three of those charged of any wrong doing.  

The three suspects spent two nights in a cell before appearing in court in Syros on Saturday, where Harry Maguire pleaded not guilty.    

If found guilty, Maguire is likely to face a fine rather than imprisonment as the charges against him will be viewed as misdemeanours.

The same applies to his brother Joe and Sharman.   

Father-of-two Joe Maguire, from Sheffield, is also a footballer who has played for clubs including Scunthorpe United, Nuneaton Town and Boston. 

According to some media reports, their sister Daisy was approached by ‘gangster-style’ Albanian businessmen, one of whom started chatting her up, sources told The Sun.

When she turned him down, she was reportedly jabbed in the arm with a sharp metal straw, drawing blood and causing her to faint, at which point Maguire stepped in and a fight broke out.

Matters escalated after police intervened, leading to Maguire and two others being arrested for attacking police.

Yesterday it was suggested Maguire’s trial could be postponed due to an outbreak of coronavirus in the building where it was due to take place tomorrow.     

Officials on the Greek island of Syros have partially locked down a section of the town hall complex which houses the courthouse where three judges will hear Maguire’s case on Tuesday.

Special measures are being introduced in and around the courthouse, but local authority officials are in a race against time to ensure that it can remain open for the trial.

Nikolaos Livadaras, mayor of Syros told MailOnline that the outbreak of coronavirus had taken place in the town hall’s financial services department where a member of staff had tested positive and others had shown symptoms. 

He said: ‘We are proceeding with all the necessary health procedures and extending a lockdown in a section of the town hall facilities where a case was detected.

‘This concerns the town hall’s financial services department, where all employees are currently being tested after the director of the department was found to have tested positive for Covid-19.’

The financial department is in the same building and just a short distance from the courthouse, where Manchester United captain Maguire, 27 will stand trial for assaulting three police officers and attempting to bribe them.  

If the trial does proceed, then members of the public and the media may be prevented from attending while all those inside will have to wear face masks and maintain social distance. The courthouse is also currently undergoing a deep clean.

Maguire is believed to be in England and does not have to attend the hearing after it was ruled that lawyers can represent him.

Greece has seen a dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, with health officials considering fresh lockdowns for several pockets of the country. 

Maguire reportedly enjoyed a five-hour drinking session in the days leading up to his arrest, racking up a bar bill rumoured to be around £63,000 on vintage champagne, cocktails, steaks and lobster. 

He is understood to have been with Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley, Love Island star Chris Hughes and snooker player Judd Trump, as well as members of his family.

It emerged that Maguire gorged on a £4.50 doner kebab with pals during a boozy night out just minutes before becoming embroiled in a fight that led to his arrest for attacking three policemen.

Maguire, who earns £190,000 per week, wolfed down the kebab after emerging from the exclusive Bonbonniere night club in Mykonos where he had been drinking on Thursday night with a group of friends.

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