Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has been found guilty on three counts- aggravated assault, resisting arrest and repeated bribery attempts, after a brawl last week on the Greek island of Mykonos.
Maguire, who was released from custody over the weekend, was not present at the trial on the nearby island of Syros.
The Manchester United captain was handed a jail term of 21 months and 10 days, but it will be suspended because it was a first offence and the charges are considered to be misdemeanours rather than felonies.
The two other defendants were also found guilty, court officials in Greece said on Tuesday. Maguire’s older brother Joe had been accused of assault and attempted bribery, and the pair’s friend Christopher Sharman accused of assault and verbal abuse.
Maguire was withdrawn from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark, England manager Gareth Southgate announced after the verdict. Gareth Southgate in a statement said: “In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark.”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 statement concluded.
The £85million defender has spoken out on the ruling this afternoon and is protesting his innocence, with plans to appeal the verdict handed down by the Greek courts. “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.”
Manchester United also released a statement following the hearing in Syros. “Manchester United notes the verdict of the Greek court. 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.”
Maguire’s defence team told the court that an altercation was sparked by his sister Daisy being injected with an unknown liquid by a group of Albanians, which led to her fainting.
It is claimed the defendants asked to be driven to hospital, but were instead taken to a police station. Maguire’s lawyer alleged the star was kicked by police officers who warned him “your career is over”.
The prosecution, however, alleged that plain clothes officers had tried to calm the situation down, only for the “English men” to be uncooperative, with one of them punching an officer.
The football star allegedly said to cops: “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.”