EIGHT people are set to stand trial over the death of footballing legend Diego Maradona and could face 25 years behind bars.
The trial of Maradona’s alleged death at the hands of his medical staff is expected to begin in late 2023, according to AP News.
According to the report, prosecutors are pushing for eight medical professionals to be charged with negligent homicide, a court ruling made public on Wednesday has shown.
Prosecutors claim that Maradona‘s death in 2020 was the result of “omissions” by his caregivers who are accused of abandoning him “to his fate” during his recovery at home from surgery, according to The 42.
The Argentina footballing legend died aged 60 in 2020 while recovering from brain surgery for a blood clot.
The star midfielder suffered a long battle with his health forcing him to make numerous trips to hospital in the months leading up to his tragic death.
He also suffered for decades from a hefty addiction to cocaine and alcohol.
Diego’s doctor Leopoldo Luque, his psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov and his psychologist Carlos Diaz and medical coordinator Nancy Forlini are among eight health professionals told they are now under formal investigation on suspicion of a type of homicide.
They face an accusation that they acted in a way they knew could lead to someone’s death but did nothing to avoid it.
Prosecutors claim mismanagement by the team placed the legendary midfielder in a “situation of helplessness”.
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A conviction would carry a prison sentence of between eight and 25 years under Argentinian law – far more than the one to five years they would have faced if convicted on the lesser charge.
According to the prosecutors, the defendants “were the protagonists of an unprecedented, totally deficient and reckless hospitalization at home”, allegedly responsible for a “series of improvisations, management failures and shortcomings”.
Luque, who is denying any wrongdoing, is also facing a charge of employing a ‘doctored document’ over claims he used a forged Diego Maradona signature to ask a hospital for his medical records.
The Argentine forward – notorious for his infamous “hand of god” goal against England – died at his home on the outskirts of Buenos Aires on November 25, 2020.
His death came two weeks after surgery following a bleed on the brain.
His last words before he died were “Me siento mal” or “I don’t feel well” in English.
Maradona had gone back to bed after having breakfast with his nephew Johnny Esposito and telling him he was going to lie back down.
A nurse treating him at home later called an ambulance but he could not be saved, according to local reports.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning in honour of the star, who was a cultural icon and national hero.