Eight medical personnel will stand trial for alleged criminal negligence in the death
of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, according to a court ruling made public
No date has been set for the trial of the staff over Maradona’s death in 2020, which
prosecutors say was due to “omissions” by his caregivers who abandoned him “to his
fate” during home hospitalization.
Maradona died aged 60 while recovering from brain surgery for a blood clot, and after
decades of battles with cocaine and alcohol addictions.
He was found dead in bed two weeks after going under the knife, in a rented house in
an exclusive Buenos Aires neighborhood to where he was brought after being
discharged from the hospital.
He was found to have died of a heart attack.
A panel of 20 medical experts convened by Argentina’s public prosecutor concluded
last year that Maradona’s treatment was rife with “deficiencies and irregularities.”
It said the footballer “would have had a better chance of survival” with adequate
treatment in an appropriate medical facility.
The experts found his caregivers had abandoned the idolized player to his fate for a
“prolonged, agonizing period” leading up to his death.
Charged in the case are neurosurgeon and family doctor Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist
Agustina Cosachov, psychologist Carlos Diaz, medical coordinator Nancy Forlini and
four others including two nurses.
Prosecutors had asked that the defendants be tried for negligent homicide, stating
they “were the protagonists of an unprecedented, totally deficient and reckless
hospitalization at home.”
They risk sentences ranging from eight to 25 years in prison. All have denied
An investigation was opened following a complaint filed by two of Maradona’s five
children against Luque, whom they blame for their father’s deterioration after the
Maradona is widely considered one of the greatest footballers in history.
The former Boca Juniors, Barcelona, and Napoli star suffered from liver, kidney, and
cardiovascular disorders when he died.
He became an idol to millions of Argentines after he inspired the South American
country to only their second World Cup triumph in 1986.
The court ruling ordering the composition of a trial bench came as Argentina
celebrated its Day of the Footballer commemorating Maradona’s performance in the
1986 quarter final against England — when he scored the infamous “hand of God”
goal and then the “Goal of the Century” as voted in a FIFA poll.