The Greek prosecution lawyer in the Harry Maguire case has blasted the footballer’s “fantasy tales” after the Manchester United captain mentioned fearing for his life in the aftermath of a brawl and his subsequent arrest on the island of Mykonos.
Ioannis Paradissis said he was deeply “appalled” by the 27-year-old football ace’s “arrogant” refusal to admit the charges and apologise.
“He should really stay silent, not twist the truth and come up with fantasy tales”, Paradissis shared with The Guardian from Syros, the neighbouring Aegean island where the court hearing took place on Tuesday. He went on to explain why he sees Maguire’s claims as utterly “absurd”:
“The court convicted him on all counts and that is because there was overriding evidence. There were six witnesses who gave exactly the same account of the events that evening”.
He said he “finds it very sad that Maguire continues not to acknowledge that people, police officers, were the victims of violence as a result of [his] actions”, the lawyer shared, stressing that there is no way violence can be justified, but “he and Manchester United seem to be doing just that”.
Days after he was ruled guilty of aggravated assault, verbal abuse, bribery attempt, and resisting arrest by police, Maguire told the BBC that he was “scared for my life” and afraid he was being kidnapped when nabbed by undercover policemen on the Aegean island last week.
Paradissis also dismissed Maguire’s version of events, saying the driver of a minibus the centre-back and his friends had rented while on the island, where they were staying on holiday, was told to drive straight to the local police station, where he was met by officers after the brawl.
“The driver did not, as he claimed, park on the side of the road, nor was Maguire thrown off the bus. It went, as instructed by the police who had intervened [in the brawl], straight to the police station. So why would he be afraid of being kidnapped by people in uniform who identified themselves as officers?” the lawyer queried.
Following a holiday altercation, when Maguire, according to police, punched an officer after the footballer's sister was "stabbed by an Albanian thug", the Greek judge passed down a 21-month suspended prison sentence, but Maguire has launched an appeal against the verdict, publicly maintaining his innocence.
However, Maguire was removed from the national squad for September's Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark after his conviction, but Manchester United have backed their captain, who took on the role in January after the departure of Ashley Young to Inter Milan.