Eight medics are set to stand trial over accusations of “criminal negligence” surrounding the death of legendary footballer Diego Maradona.
Lawmakers in Argentina have ordered a culpable homicide trial surrounding his passing following a heart attack in Buenos Aires at the age of 60.
A report found Maradona’s treatment before his death was rife with “deficiencies and irregularities” and the team handling his care acted in an “inappropriate, deficient and reckless manner”.
The former Barcelona, Boca Juniors and Napoli player had been recovering from an operation to clear a brain blood clot in November 2020.
All eight, including his neurosurgeon and personal doctor Leopoldo Luque, will be tried on a legal definition of homicide based on negligence committed in the knowledge that it may lead to a person’s death, with sentences ranging from eight to 25 years.
All of the accused, which also includes a psychiatrist and psychologist, two doctors, two nurses and their boss, deny the charges.
Legal proceedings have been brought by two of the footballing icon’s daughters after they raised concerns about his health following the brain surgery.
Maradona captained the Argentine national side to the World Cup in 1986 in addition to winning the Uefa Cup, Serie A, Coppa Italia and Copa del Rey at club level. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Mario Baudry, a lawyer for one of Maradona’s sons, told Reuters he was “in a situation of helplessness” by the time of his death.
He added: “As soon as I saw the cause, I said it was homicide. I fought for a long time and here we are, with this stage completed.”