Exclusive: Human rights criminal lawyer to represent Harry Maguire over Mykonos brawl

Published on The Telegraph on 24.08.2020

One of Greece’s top human rights specialists is set to lead the defence for Harry Maguire on Tuesday as three judges consider the Manchester United captain’s claims that he was unfairly treated by police during his arrest on the island of Mykonos.

Maguire has hired Alexis Anagnostakis, whose Athens-based criminal practice has fought a series of cases at the European Court of Human Rights and promises “extraordinary care” for clients including Amnesty International.

The Daily Telegraph understands the England international will not be present at the assault hearing, which is now listed as a misdemeanour offence to be heard by three judges on the island of Syros.

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.

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, however, is convinced he has a robust defence for this week’s trial in Greece, and has been offered the support of the Professional Footballers’ Association.

His 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.

Ahead of Tuesday’s hearing, a deep clean was reportedly launched on Monday 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 £85 million 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.

Greek reports have cited the start of the trouble occurring when Maguire’s sister, Daisy, was being harassed and then possibly stabbed in an arm. Maguire was believed to be part of a party of six couples, made up of friends and family, who were out for the night in the Fabrika area of Mykonos.

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.

The Sunday Telegraph disclosed how Southgate would talk to Maguire before making his final decision over his England selection.

Syros’ prosecutor’s office told The Telegraph that Maguire remained accused of “multiple instances of physical harm and multiple instances of revilement (shouting expletives)”, as well as “multiple instances of attempted bribery”. However, Dr Gregory Ioannidis, a senior lecturer in Law at Sheffield Hallam University, said the charges looked set to be scaled down.

Maguire was with teammates 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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