EPL

I was scared for my life – Man Utd captain Maguire addresses Greek arrest

By Sports Desk August 27, 2020

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has claimed he was "scared for his life" during his arrest in Greece last week.

England defender Maguire, along with two other defendants, was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and repeated attempts of bribery at a misdemeanours court in Syros on Tuesday following an incident involving police on the island of Mykonos.

The 27-year-old, who has denied all charges against him, was given a suspended prison sentence, though he will be appealing the conviction, which, in accordance with Greek law, has therefore been nullified and a full retrial in a more senior court will now take place.

On Thursday, Maguire spoke publicly for the first time since his arrest in an interview to BBC News.

He reaffirmed his innocence and discussed his arrest, claiming plain-clothed police officers attacked him and his group.

"My initial thought was I thought we were getting kidnapped. We got down on our knees, we put our hands in the air," Maguire said.

"They just started hitting us, they were hitting our legs, saying, 'My career's over. No more football. You won't play again'.

"At this point I thought there was no chance these were police. I don't know who they are, so I tried to run away. I was in that much of a panic, fear, scared for my life - all the way through it."

Yoannis Paradissis, a lawyer who assisted the prosecution in the case, had insisted the police officers involved had acted lawfully when he spoke after the initial trial finished on Tuesday.

"The policemen I represent were just doing their job according to the procedures in place," he told Sky News.

"The defence team was accusing the policemen of police brutality and that they weren't doing their jobs correctly. That is why they tried to justify the assault that was done to the policemen.

"We are totally appalled by that. We say that it is an unsportsmanlike conduct and they would not give even a single apology. If they had said they were very sorry I do not think the matter would have arrived here."

Maguire reiterated that he felt no need to apologise for his actions.

"It was horrible. It's not something I ever want to do again. I don't wish it on anybody. It's the first time I've ever been inside a prison," said Maguire, who spent two nights in custody.

"I don't feel like I owe an apology to anybody. An apology's something when you've done something wrong.

"I regret being in the situation. Obviously the situation's made it difficult. I play for one of the biggest clubs in the world so I regret putting the fans and the club through this."

Shortly after the initial trial finished, Maguire was dropped from the England squad for the Nations League fixtures against Iceland and Denmark next month.

Asked by BBC News if he should stay on as United's captain, the centre-back replied: "It's a massive privilege to play for the club, never mind to be a captain.

"Obviously, it's not my decision to make. I have great faith in the Greek law.

"The retrial will give us more time to prepare, gather the evidence, allow witnesses into the court. I'm really confident that the truth will be told and come out."

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