Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has been found guilty of assault at a trial and handed a 21-month suspended sentence following his arrest after a brawl last week on the island of Mykonos, court officials in Greece said.
United issued a statement saying Maguire, who was released from custody over the weekend, “continues to strongly assert his innocence” and would appeal.
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.
Maguire, who is the world’s most expensive defender, was not present at the trial on the nearby island of Syros. He was found guilty of assault, swearing in public, and attempting to bribe a police officer.
“It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defense team minimal time to digest them and prepare,” United said. “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.”
Yannis Paradeisis, a lawyer assisting with the prosecution and representing four police officers who were allegedly assaulted in the brawl, told The Associated Press that he was disappointed by Maguire’s behavior.
“He is a role model to young people and a sportsman. That is not the way to behave,” he said. “The officers I was representing were just doing their job. We have not heard an apology from Mr Maguire or the other two defendants. We all understand that someone can go on holiday and get in some kind of trouble, but it is not right to behave this way. The whole thing could have ended with an apology.” [AP]