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 on 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 and now faces a retrial.
Maguire, who asked the BBC to keep his current location secret, vowed to fight to clear his name and declared: ‘I’m really 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’.
He also said that plain-clothed police officers pulled over the group’s minibus and threw him off. He tried to run away with one handcuff on because he feared for his life.
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.
‘ And 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.’
Maguire was asked by the BBC’s Dan Roan if he accepts that he was asking for trouble by going to a busy bar on the popular tourist island.
He said: ‘No it could have happened anywhere. I love Greece. I think footballers get a bit of stick for trying to stay away from everything, but its’ not how I want to live my life.’
The football star – who has been dropped from Gareth Southgate’s England squad – described what it was like spending two nights in custody.
He said: ‘It was horrible it’s nothing I ever want to do again, I don’t wish it on anybody. Its the first time I’ve ever been inside a prison.’
Maguire said trouble started when two men approached his little sister at the club on Mykonos.
He said: ‘These two men approached my little sister they said asked her where she was from she responded and then my fiancee Fern saw my little sisters eyes go into the back of her head and she ran over and she was fainting, she was in and out of consciousness….’
Maguire, 27, was found guilty of assaulting police, verbal abuse, and attempted bribery by a court on the island of Syros, in Greece.
On facing a retrial he said: ‘I have great faith in Greek law that the retrial will give us more time to prepare, gather evidence and allow witnesses into the court. I’m really confident the truth will be told and come out.’
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.
It has been a torrid few days for the superstar who is at the moment still captain at Manchester United, despite his legal woes.
MailOnline exclusively revealed yesterday that the defender is holed up in a secret location abroad with girlfriend Fern Hawkins, 26.
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’. In a statement yesterday Manchester United said Maguire’s legal team filed the appeal and that it has been accepted.
The father-of-two’s conviction 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.
A statement from Manchester United issued yesterday said: ‘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 yesterday 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.
‘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).’
Explaining the process, leading barrister Paula Rhone-Adrien said: ‘Yes the proceedings have been nullified, but this simply means the conviction is no longer recognised in law.
‘Maguire is going to be given an opportunity to state why the court was wrong to have found him guilty. Everyone is entitled to a right to appeal a decision made against them.’
This, ‘in essence’, means Maguire is innocent unless the appeal hearing finds him guilty.
Mrs Rhone-Adrien said: ‘It’s a complete retrial and he will even be able to adduce fresh evidence if he needs too.’
The appeal will be heard by Greece’s indictment division and could in theory, although unlikely, take place on the mainland. Maguire could choose to appear personally or appear through his legal team.
The initial proceedings in Maguire’s case progressed quickly but due process for the less-serious offences – classed as ‘misdemeanours’, of which he was charged – was followed according to Mrs Rhone-Adrien.
She said: ‘In Greece they have a system that where an officer arrests someone who has been ‘caught in the act’ of committing a criminal offence, the procedure can move very quickly, particularly where the offence is a misdemeanour.
‘The proceedings have to then be placed before a three-bench court within 48 hours and a judgement can be delivered on the investigation that took place. This procedure is totally normal and was not used simply because of who Maguire is.’
Maguire’s lawyers represented him in court and his father Alan arrived shortly after 11am local time ahead of the trial.
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.’
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.’
by Vivek Chaudhary by MailOnline
Maguire, alongside family and friends, enjoys the facilities at their luxury £29,000 per week villa, a stunning waterfront property in Mykonos that overlooks the golden coastline of popular Paradise and Paraga Beaches – the island’s two most famous beaches.
They spend the early part of the afternoon drinking and making the most of the sumptuous villa’s infinity and relaxation pool, while enjoying stunning views of the Aegean Sea.
Christina, a maid emerging from the property, confirmed to MailOnline that Maguire stayed at the Villa Paradise Gem last week. She said that Maguire left over the weekend as did others in his group.
Christina added: ‘They were here last week but I haven’t seen Harry Maguire or any of the others since the weekend. They were very nice people and appeared to be having a great time, as most people do when they stay here.’
The resort is located just a five-minute walk away from their villa and is popular with a string of A-listers, boasting expensive food and drink as well as one of the largest freshwater swimming pools in Europe.
This is also the place where, two days earlier, Maguire and friends including Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley, Love Island star Chris Hughes and snooker player Judd Trump, ran up a £63,000 bar bill.
Waitresses stylishly dressed in beige togas floated around the beach club during MailOnline’s visit, serving jaw-droppingly expensive drinks as guests swayed to chillout dance music while soaking up the picture post card sunset.
Owner Dimitris Christoforidis told MailOnline: ‘Harry Maguire and a few other English footballers were here last week and all of them were very well behaved – we didn’t have any problems with them.
‘Manchester United is my favourite team in England, so I was very happy to meet Harry. I obviously heard about the fight and his arrest and it came as a bit of a shock to me because I found him to be very charming and a real gentleman.’
There is no entrance fee at the SantAnna, which Mr Christofordis claims is what makes his club so attractive.
He said: ‘Everybody wants to be seen here, especially ordinary people. They want to say that they have been rubbing shoulders with famous stars. And those with money need to show it off to those who don’t have as much, so that’s why they like to come here.’
Mr Christofordis also admitted that the £63,000 bar bill racked up by Maguire and his friends last Tuesday was not the largest he has seen since opening three years ago.
‘We’ve had a few of around £100,000 but I’m not going to tell you who it was. Let’s just say that in recent times, English footballers and other English celebrities have been my best customers,’ he added.
Waitress Melany Maquaizer, 27, who had just served two customers a £200 bottle of Jack Daniels, said: ‘People from all over the world come here. Most of our customers are Americans, Italians, Germans, Arabs and French.
‘I’ve been working here for two years and not met a single Albanian and there are not that many on Mykonos, so it did surprise me when I heard that Maguire and his group had come across two of them.’
At sunset, the SantAnna empties out with revellers heading into Mykonos town, which enjoys an abundance of fashionable bars and clubs frequented by A-listers and tourists alike.
Maguire and his group of eight was made up of Fern, his three siblings, family friends Chris Sharman and Ashden Morley and two other women, whose names are not known.
As night began to fall, they boarded a luxury Mercedes minibus to continue partying the night away.
The busy drinking den is located along a narrow, mazy lane in the heart of Mykonos town.
There was barely any room inside when MailOnline called in with partygoers gathered outside enjoying a balmy night as they sang along to a selection of Greek and international songs spun by a DJ.
A barmaid who poured a round of tequila shots said: ‘We like to generate an intimate atmosphere and get famous and non-famous people coming in. I didn’t know who Harry Maguire was until I saw his photograph in the newspapers and recognised him from last week.
‘You come here for a good time and not to be seen. I don’t care how high profile the customer is, I just want them to be part of the party.’
Marie Baumann, 19, from Switzerland, has been in Mykonos for three days, travelling around the Greek islands for the past two weeks with her friend Sasha Sutton, 18.
She said: ‘We’ve been out in Mykonos every night drinking, having a great time and felt very safe. I’m not a big football fan but I read about the court case.
‘I’m still trying to figure out how Maguire and his friends knew that the two men who approached Daisy were Albanian. We have travelled all around the islands and have not met any Albanians, apart from the cleaning lady in one of the hotels we were staying.’
The party moves on to the club, which is popular amongst the island’s jet-set visitors, and take their seats on plush sofas, occupying two outside tables as they continue drinking and enjoying background music that wafts across the Mykonos night.
Entry is strictly controlled by an elegant, pencil thin woman called Jessica, who ensures that guests that fit in with the club’s slick, modish image.
‘We are very choosy about who we let in here and we never discuss the identities of our VIP guests,’ she tells MailOnline. ‘But all I can say is that Mr Maguire and his group were in here, because it’s already been reported.
‘Normally we have a separate VIP area inside but it’s currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions so they would have sat outside. All I can remember is that they had a few cocktails.’
MailOnline only came across one Albanian, 11-year-old Armando who was selling trinkets outside the club and said that his family originally came from Tirana.
‘If you give me five Euros, I might tell you more,’ he added wryly.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, all clubs, bars and restaurants in Mykonos have to close by midnight and Maguire’s group leave shortly before the Bonbonniere shuts its doors.
The group arrive a junction on the periphery of Mykonos town to wait for their driver to pick them up. It is hemmed in by a cafes, late night kebab and burger joints and bustling with late night revellers and taxi drivers waiting for fares.
Some of those in Maguire’s group are reported to have visited Gyros Corner, a popular kebab shop. Others, according to his friend Ashden Morley, who gave evidence in the day-long assault trial, went to buy burgers although it has still not been established where this exactly was.
The owner of one establishment, simply called ‘Burgers’, told MailOnline: ‘We get a lot of drunk British people in here buying burgers so I’m not likely to remember them.’
Standing on the corner of Fabrika, French tourist Jorick Luisetto added: ‘Mykonons is a real party island and you come across people from all over the world. I’ve met people from all kinds of places, have been here ten days and must confess, I haven’t come across a single Albanian.’
It is at Fabrika that the alleged attack on Daisy took place.
After scouring the area, MailOnline met one Albanian, a woman called Leva who was begging in a dimly lit lane just off Fabrika.
Her pleas of ‘just one Euro please’ were barely heard by boisterous group of sharply dressed partygoers rushing by as the Mykonos night was drawing to a close.
Maguire and his group claim it is with the two unnamed Albanians while Greek officers allege that the scuffle was between Maguire’s group and another group of men whose identities are not known.
Greek police allege that it is here that the first ‘attack’ against them takes place, accusing Maguire of hitting out at a police officer and throwing his identity card to the floor.
Greek police order the driver of the minibus to take Maguire’s group to Mykonos police station.
The Man Utd star was reported to have told officers ‘don’t you know who I am?’ in bid to escape arrest. Maguire, his brother Joe and their friend Chris Sharman are accused of verbally and physically assaulting three officers. Maguire and Joe are also accused of attempting to bribe officers.
Maguire is arrested and placed spends the first of two nights in a Mykonos police cell.