Eight medical staff involved in the treatment of soccer star Diego Maradona will face public trial for criminal negligence, an Argentinian judge ruled on Wednesday.
Brain surgeon Leopoldo Luque and psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov are among those to stand trial for homicide, the judge said. Medical staff are accused of failing to take care of Maradona as he recovered from surgery that led to his death.
Maradona died aged 60 on November 25, 2020, from cardio-respiratory arrest while recovering at a home outside Buenos Aires after surgery for a blood clot in his brain. Prosecutors in April asked Judge Orlando Daz to bring those under investigation to trial.
Maradona’s autopsy revealed he died of natural causes, but the Argentine judiciary began investigating the case after pressure from Maradona’s family. A medical panel said the performance of staff who cared for the 1986 World Cup winner was inadequate.
The BBC reported that the panel of 20 experts appointed to examine his death found that Maradona’s medical team had acted “inappropriately, deficiently and recklessly”. The panel concluded that the football legend would have had a better chance of survival with proper treatment at a proper medical facility.
The medical team denied the charges. The BBC reported that all eight would be tried under a legal definition of homicide based on negligence committed in the knowledge that it could result in a person’s death. The crime can carry a sentence of eight to 25 years in prison, according to the Argentine penal code. The trial is not expected to begin until late 2023 or early 2024.
(With PTI entries)