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ARGENTINA | 29-05-2024 21:32

Trial of Diego Maradona’s medical team postponed until October

Court postpones trial into 2020 death of Diego Armando Maradona, originally scheduled for next week, until October 1.

The long-awaited criminal trial of eight medical professionals accused of negligence in the death of international football legend Diego Maradona, due to start next week, was postponed Wednesday to October 1.

In a ruling, Oral Criminal Court No. 3 of San Isidro (Buenos Aires Province) ordered a hearing set for June 4 be suspended and rescheduled.

Maradona, Argentina’s greatest and most famous footballer, died aged 60 on November 25, 2020, while recovering from brain surgery for a brain haematoma caused by a household accident.

‘El Diez' – who for decades had struggled with cocaine and alcohol addictions – was found dead in bed two weeks after going under the knife, in a rented house in a private neighbourhood of San Andrés, to where he was brought after being discharged from hospital. 

He was found to have died of a heart attack. 

Eight healthcare professionals will be in the dock for their alleged role in the star’s death in November 2020. Charged with “simple homicide with malice aforethought,” the accused face up to 25 years behind bars if convicted.

They include Maradona’s neurosurgeon and family doctor Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, nursing coordinator Mariano Perroni, nurses Ricardo Almirón and Gisella Madrid, psychologist Carlos Díaz, medical coordinator Nancy Forlini and clinician Pedro Pablo Di Spagna.

Last April, an appeals court confirmed that the eight would stand trial in the matter, rejecting an appeal.

But on Wednesday, a court suspended the trial, saying there were "a series of issues... that need to be resolved before the start of the hearings."

In the same ruling it denied, for the moment, the transfer of Maradona's remains from a private cemetery at the request of his daughters and girlfriend, who want to move them to a mausoleum.

Prosecutors have accused the eight medical professionals of providing "reckless" and "deficient" home treatment to Maradona. They say the footballing icon’s death was a result of “omissions” by his carers during the last weeks of his life after undergoing surgery for a subdural haematoma.

A panel of 20 medical experts convened by Argentina's public prosecutor concluded in 2021 that Maradona "would have had a better chance of survival" with adequate treatment in an appropriate medical facility.

An autopsy ruled the 1986 World Cup winner had expired from “an acute lung oedema secondary to acute/chronic heart disease.” He was also found to have had “dilated cardiomyopathy.”

At the time of his death, Maradona was the head coach of Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, a role he had taken on in September 2019.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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