Harry Maguire’s legal team has lodged an appeal against the guilty verdict in a Greek court that led to a suspended jail sentence for the Manchester United captain, the club confirmed on Wednesday.
The England defender was handed a suspended sentence of 21 months and 10 days on Tuesday after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer, attempted bribery and other charges.
The appeal nullifies Maguire’s conviction and there will be a full retrial in a more senior court.
The 27-year-old was arrested last week after an alleged incident at a nightclub in Mykonos and spent two nights in police custody before flying home.
Maguire, who did not attend Tuesday’s trial on the island of Syros, had quickly indicated his intention to appeal, releasing a statement suggesting he and his family and friends were the victims.
A United spokesman said on Wednesday that Maguire’s legal team had lodged an appeal.
“In accordance with the Greek judicial process, the filing of an appeal extinguishes the initial court verdict and nullifies the conviction,” he said.
“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.”
United’s public support for the player is understood to be an indication that he will remain as club captain.
Maguire’s brother Joe and friend Christopher Sharman were also found guilty on a range of charges and sentenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for three years.
All three men denied all the charges.
– No apology –
Earlier, the lawyer who represented two Greek police officers in the case said it was “shocking” there had been no apology from Maguire.
Lawyer Ioannis Paradissis said an apology would, in Greek law, make a big difference in any appeals process but said none had been offered.
“(The police officers) told me they are still waiting for an apology and they haven’t had any,” Paradissis told the BBC.
“This is what I find quite shocking and quite unsporting. Fair play means when I’ve done something wrong I apologise or at least I say I am sorry for what happened to the other person.”
Paradissis said an appeal would start the trial afresh but that in Greek law some of the accusations could be withdrawn if an apology were given and that “the outcome might be different”.
According to media reports, a fight started at a nightclub over claims Maguire’s sister Daisy had been injected with what the defence said was a suspected drug.
Paradissis said this was “irrelevant” in respect of the assault on the officers and that it was “strange” that Maguire’s sister had not mentioned this when she was interviewed by police.
Asked whether Maguire and his co-defendants would have known the officers were police, Paradissis said: “Of course, because that’s the first thing they said. The police officers were there for other duties and they heard a brawl.
“So they heard some people fighting and went there to break up a fight. They said, ‘We’re police, stop fighting’. They were not in uniform but they showed their professional IDs.”
England manager Gareth Southgate withdrew Maguire from his squad for the Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark next month, having initially selected him on Tuesday.
Manchester United fans were sceptical about the outcome of the court case but others said Maguire should have been more careful.
Project manager Daniel Johnston told AFP: “I think it’s a load of rubbish. I don’t believe a word of it, from the Greek police, from what you’re reading in the news. I don’t see the words that they say he has used coming out of his mouth.”
Managing director Steve Greenall said it was too early to judge Maguire.
“Not wanting to judge judicial systems in other countries, but it seems there are some things that have happened rather quickly in terms of getting Harry Maguire’s case to the court,” he said.
“But that being said, there still has been an incident, which you know, you can argue does bring some level embarrassment to the club.”
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