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Maguire absent as trial opens in Greece


Athens (AFP) – The trial of Manchester United captain Harry Maguire on charges of “assault”, “bodily harm”, “verbal abuse” and “attempted bribery” opened Tuesday in the criminal court on the Greek island of Syros, according to a judicial source.

According to some British and Greek media on the spot, Maguire’s lawyers raised procedural issues which could lead to the trial being postponed. 

The British international defender was not present. His lawyers told local media that he left the Cyclades last weekend. 

He could face a maximum prison sentence of seven years, Greek radio station Skai said.

The £80 million (88 million euros) defender was arrested late Thursday after a fight with another group at a nightclub in Mykonos.

Greek media reported that the fight started when someone in the other group hurt Maguire’s sister.

“Three British men, one of whom is a footballer for a British team, attacked police officers on Thursday night, slightly injuring four of them and were arrested,” Petros Vassilakis, a Syros police official, told AFP on Friday.

The police asked the three men to follow them to the station, but they tried to escape, Vassilakis said.

According to the official police statement, a second fight broke out at the local police station where the three men “fiercely resisted, pushing and hitting three officers”, according to the same statement. 

One of the suspects then tried to bribe the officers to cover up the incident, according to a Greek police source. 

British and Greek media said Maguire asked police: “Do you know who I am? I am the captain of Manchester United. I am very rich. I can give you money. I can pay you. Let us go.”

According to his defence, Maguire reacted after being taunted by a policeman, who according to media reports said: “Your career is over.” 

Along with his brother and a friend, Maguire was brought before the prosecutor on Syros, the capital of the Cyclades, on Saturday and charged. 

The two other Britons were also being tried on Tuesday.  

His lawyer Konstantinos Darivas told local sports media on Saturday that Maguire, who denied the charges, was in “good condition” despite two nights in detention.  

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