Eight medical personnel in Argentina are facing trial over criminal negligence relating to the death of national hero and football icon Diego Maradona.
Maradona passed away in November 2020 after suffering a heart attack, sending the football world into mourning. His death came shortly after surgery on a blood clot in his brain.
An investigation from prosecutors into doctors and nurses responsible for his care was launched almost immediately and a judge has now ordered a ‘culpable homicide’ trial as a result of alleged ‘deficiencies and irregularities’ in his treatment found by a medical panel.
A lawyer representing one of Maradona’s sons has claimed he ‘said it was homicide’ from the beginning, with legal proceedings initially started by the World Cup legend’s daughters.
Maradona was allowed to recover at home following his brain surgery and the panel of 20 experts concluded his medical team acted in an ‘inappropriate, deficient and reckless manner’. It was also found his chance of survival would have been higher in an appropriate medical facility.
Maradona’s personal doctor, Leopoldo Luque, is among those facing trial, alongside his neurosurgeon, a psychiatrist and psychologist, two other doctors and two nurses. All will be tried in relation to negligence with knowledge it may lead to death.
If found guilty, such a crime in Argentina is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from eight to 25 years. All eight have denied any responsibility for Maradona’s death.
Napoli renamed their stadium in honour of Maradona following his passing. He led the club to Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990 – the only two in their history – as well as the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup during a seven-year spell.