Harry Maguire was kicked by police in the leg and told “your career is over”, his lawyer has claimed after a Greek court heard allegations that he attempted to pay off officers by telling them he was “very rich” during his late-night brawl arrest.
Either Maguire, his brother or a friend shouted “f*** the police” after plain-clothed officers tried to intervene on the island of Mykonos after the footballer’s sister Daisy was allegedly injected in the arm by two Albanian men, a court on the neighbouring island of Syros heard.
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 the island of Mykonos early on Friday.
However, prosecutors representing police told three judges hearing the misdemeanour case that Maguire said: “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.”
However, Alexis Anagnostakis, Maguire’s lawyer, told the court how trouble flared after two Albanian men approached his sister Daisy, and she immediately fainted. They called their van and asked to be driven to hospital, but the driver took them instead to the local police department.
The prosecution team say plain clothes police officers intervened to try calm the situation down but the “English men” did not calm down and one of the defendants said “f***, f*** the police” before one of the defendants punched an officer.
Anagnostakis, who had earlier failed in a request for more time to prepare his case, was watched by Maguire’s father, Alan, and other family members as he cross-examined one of the plain-clothed officers who arrested Maguire and the two others.
There are no guarantees the case will conclude on Tuesday, leaving Gareth Southgate with a potentially difficult decision as he announces his international squad on Tuesday afternoon.
Maguire’s choice of barrister is thought to have been made with the help of United. Anagnostakis, 42, says on his website that he has also defended high profile criminal cases “with media impact”, including representing the families of 39 people who died in a factory collapse in Athens during an earthquake in 1999.
Before Tuesday’s hearing, a deep clean was 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.
Maguire was believed to be in a party of six couples, made up of friends and family, who were out for the night in the Fabrika area of Mykonos. A police officer told the court that, while handcuffing Maguire, the footballer pushed him “hard” and he fell backwards hurting his back.
The officer claimed he was injected with painkillers and took the next day off to recover.
In the UK, family members and fellow players dismissed the allegations against Maguire, however. Laurence Maguire, Harry’s younger brother, tweeted: “This is crazy… anyone who knows Harry now knows this whole story is fabricated.”
Alex Bruce, a former Hull team-mate, said that allegations that Maguire boasted of his riches were “absolute nonsense”. Maguire “isn’t capable of such comments” and it “simply cannot be true” as “it’s just not in his nature”, Bruce added. “Nor is he capable of starting any type of physical fight – he’s one of the nicest lads you could ever meet and some of the stuff being said is rubbish.”
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.
Telegraph Sport disclosed how Southgate would talk to Maguire before making his final decision over his England selection. Maguire was with team-mates Marcus Rashford and Brandon Williams during the day on the island that has been a popular post-season break for Premier League footballers. Chris Hughes, 27, a reality TV contestant, and snooker player Judd Trump, 31 as well as Maguire’s brother, Joe, also spent the day together.
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