Social networks in Argentina erupted in anger on Thursday after photos leaked online of Diego Armando Maradona’s dead body in his funeral casket.
The images, apparently taken by workers at the morgue at which his autopsy took place, show a man, presumed to be an employee, posing for a photograph while standing next to the open coffin. Maradona’s face can be seen partially through an opening in a white ziplock bag that encases him.
The Times has seen the photographs but has chosen not to publish them.
The photographs quickly went viral on social networks, sparking outrage from users. Minutes later, the late footballer’s lawyer, Matías Morla, revealed the individual in the photograph’s identity in a post on Twitter.
"Given the viralisation of an image of Diego on his deathbed, I am going to personally take charge of finding the scoundrel who took that photograph. All those responsible for such an act of cowardice are going to pay," Morla said in a post.
"Diego Molina is the scoundrel who took a photo next to Diego Maradona's coffin. For the memory of my friend, I am not going to rest until he pays for such an aberration," he said.
Most users on social media agreed. "You have to be disrespectful, shameless, disgusting and an animal to upload a photo of a corpse to social media, be it Maradona or whoever. What a world, really. Disgusting," posted one user.
Diego Molina es el canalla que se sacó una foto junto al féretro de Diego Maradona. Por la memoria de mí amigo no voy a descansar hasta que pague por semejante aberración. pic.twitter.com/UtUk8tQHlw— MATIAS MORLA (@MatiasMorlaAb) November 26, 2020
The photographs are believed to have been taken at a hospital morgue in San Fernando, where Maradona’s autopsy took place. His body was later transported to the Casa Rosada for a wake.
Tens of thousands of Argentines queued to say a final farewell to Maradona on Thursday, in an outpouring of love for their national hero before the funeral of one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Many of the mourners were in tears, and some wore the World Cup winner's number 10 Argentina jersey as they gathered at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires to see his coffin.
Visiting hours were set to close at 4pm, but long queues remained visible outside Government House early afternoon, prompting officials to extend th timeframe by three hours. That came in the wake of brief clashes between a small group of individuals and security forces.
Maradona will be buried later Thursday at the Jardin de Paz cemetery on the outskirts of the Argentine capital, where his parents were also laid to rest, his spokesman Sebastian Sanchi said.