Manchester United captain still has time ‘to say sorry’, says prosecution lawyer

Harry Maguire’s lack of apology following his trial in Greece is “shocking” and “unsportsmanlike”, says one of the prosecution lawyers.

On Tuesday, the Manchester United captain was found guilty of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees and insult following his arrest on the island of Mykonos last week.

He was sentenced to 21 months, 10 days in prison, suspended for three years.

Maguire, 27, has appealed the verdict.

United say the appeal means the defender’s original conviction is “nullified” and a more senior court will now consider the case.

But lawyer Dr Ioannis Paradissis said there was still time “to say sorry”.

England defender Maguire was arrested along with brother Joe, 28, and family friend Christopher Sharman, 29, on Thursday after an altercation with police. Both Joe Maguire and Sharman were sentenced to 13 months in prison, also suspended for three years.

All three men denied all charges.

Dr Paradissis, who represented two of the six Greek police officers involved in the case, told the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4: “The appeal process in Greece is a retrial. So obviously there is still time for the three defendants to say they are sorry and then I believe that the outcome might be different.

“It would be different because under Greek law you can withdraw some accusations – non-aggravated bodily harm and the verbal assaults that were shouted at the policeman.

“I don’t know if my clients would accept that 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 unsportsmanlike, because fair play means when I’ve done something wrong, I apologise.”

Maguire said after Tuesday’s verdict he had instructed his 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,” he added.

Leading sports lawyer Dr Gregory Ioannidis has told BBC Sport it could take up to a year before any hearing and the case will likely go to the Piraeus Court of Appeal. He added it could be delayed even further if there are requests for further adjournments.

Dr Paradissis added: “I’m representing some policemen that have been hit, they have injuries and the three defendants say they are not guilty but on the other side they don’t explain how these injuries were made.

“We don’t have the same definition of what a victim is then because how can you be a victim and the policeman that have been assaulted, hit, that were just doing their job, they went home with injuries – how can they not be a victim?”

Maguire’s lawyer Alexis Anagnostakis – one of Greece’s top human rights lawyers – told the court the events stemmed from Maguire’s sister Daisy being injected with a substance by a group of Albanians and she immediately fainted.

The defendants called for transport and asked to be driven to a hospital, but were instead taken to a police station.

The prosecution said Maguire, his brother and friend then physically and verbally attacked police officers.

“Obviously that [Maguire’s sister being injected] is irrelevant concerning the assault committed against the police officers,” said Dr Paradissis.

“And in any case what is strange about 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.”

source: BBC sports/football

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