Harry Maguire’s conviction in Greece is “no longer recognised in law” as a result of lodging an appeal, a leading barrister has said.
The Manchester United defender is appealing a decision made against him in a court on the Greek island of Syros.
Maguire was handed a suspended 21-month prison sentence following an incident on the island of Mykonos last week.
After the appeal was accepted, United said in a statement: “In accordance with the Greek judicial process, the filing of an appeal extinguishes the initial court verdict and nullifies the conviction.
“The appeal has been accepted and will lead to a full retrial in a more senior court.
“This means that Harry has no criminal record and is once again presumed innocent until proven guilty. Accordingly, he is not subject to any international travel restrictions.”
Explaining the process, leading barrister Paula Rhone-Adrien spoke to the PA news agency.
“Yes the proceedings have been nullified,” she said. “But this simply means the conviction is no longer recognised in law.
“Maguire is going to be given an opportunity to state why the court was wrong to have found him guilty. Everyone is entitled to a right to appeal a decision made against them.”
This, “in essence”, means Maguire is innocent unless the appeal hearing finds him guilty.
Mrs Rhone-Adrien said: “It’s a complete retrial and he will even be able to adduce fresh evidence if he needs too.”
Maguire appeal process explained
The appeal will be heard by Greece’s indictment division. It could in theory, although unlikely, take place on the mainland. Maguire could choose to appear personally or appear through his legal team.
The appeals process in Greece is a long one. Some cases can take one to three years to go through the system.
“Much depends on the offence, the location of the court and whether or not the defendant is in custody,” Mrs Rhone-Adrien said.
Maguire is now back in the UK.
The initial proceedings in Maguire’s case progressed quickly. However, due process for the less-serious offences – classed as “misdemeanours”, of which he was charged – was followed according to Mrs Rhone-Adrien.
She said: “In Greece they have a system that where an officer arrests someone who has been ‘caught in the act’ of committing a criminal offence, the procedure can move very quickly. This is regular occurence where the offence is a misdemeanour.
“The proceedings have to then be placed before a three-bench court within 48 hours. A judgement can then be delivered on the investigation that took place. This procedure is totally normal and was not used simply because of who Maguire is.”