Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, 27, has been withdrawn from the England squad by manager Gareth Southgate after being given a suspended prison sentence on the Greek island of Syros, on Tuesday.
Maguire was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and repeated attempts of bribery, resulting in a jail sentence of 21 months and 10 days, which is suspended for 3 years.
His colleague added that Maguire had said to him: “Please, let me go. I am very rich. I can pay. I am the leader of Manchester United.”
The defence argued that this request may have been lost in translation and suggested Maguire may have been asking to pay a “fine” to be released.
However, Maguire had instructed his 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,” he added.
Maguire was arrested along with brother Joe, 28, and Christopher Sharman, 29, after the altercation with police. Joe Maguire has been found guilty of repeated bodily harm, violence against public employees and attempted bribery. Sharman has been found guilty of insult, repeated bodily harm and violence against public employees.
Both were sentenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for three years.
Manchester United said in a statement: “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.”
In response to the charge of insult, the defence added that the defendants said things which did not imply diminished professionalism by the police officers.
Anagnostakis said the defendants had been beaten, an assertion confirmed by a forensic expert, and added that Maguire became angry only after he was hit on his “golden leg”, insinuating his dominant leg in football.
Dr Ioannis Paradissis, who represented two of the six Greek police officers involved in the case, said he found it “shocking” and “unsportsmanlike” that Maguire had not apologised.
“It might be different because under Greek law you can then withdraw some accusations – non-aggravated bodily harm and the verbal assaults that were shouted at the policeman,” he said.
“I don’t know if my clients would accept that but they told me they are still waiting for an apology and they haven’t heard any and this is what I find quite shocking and quite unsportsman-like, because fair play means when I’ve done something wrong, I apologise.”