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ARGENTINA | 01-03-2021 16:42

Maradona's daughters give testimony to probe into late footballer's death

Maradona's daughters, Gianinna and Jana, have contributed fresh witness testimonies to the involuntary manslaughter probe into their father's death.

Two of Diego Maradona’s daughters, Gianinna and Jana, contributed fresh testimonies on Friday to prosecutors at the San Isidro Attorney General's Office, who are investigating claims of alleged medical negligence related to their father’s death on November 25.

“It was a very telling statement that allows us to understand the last days of Maradona,” said Rodolfo Baqué, a defence lawyer for a nurse implicated in the case. 

Maradona, Argentina's late legendary national team captain and troubled star, died of a heart attack at a home in a gated community in Tigre, weeks after undergoing brain surgery on a blood clot.

A total of seven healthcare professionals are under investigation, including neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, psychologist Carlos Díaz, and two otther nurses.

The coordinator of a private nursing company and a doctor designated by a company to coordinate Maradona's home care in the days prior to his death were added to the list of defendants in the involuntary manslaughter probe this week.

According to Baqué, Jana and Gianinna Maradona “pointed to Cosachov, Luque and psychologist Díaz as the doctors attending [to Maradona]. They are very clear and sure that they were [the doctors] who called the shots in the treatment.” 

According to the lawyer, the sisters “went into depth” around what they had said in their testimonies on November 28. 

In her first statement, Gianinna had already indicated that Luque was the "family doctor.”

The 31-year-old is one of the two daughters Maradona had with his ex-wife Claudia Villafañe.

Gianinna also said that the last time she visited her father she had noticed he was "very swollen" and that "weeks before his death, he showed both physical and cognitive deterioration."

Jana Maradona Sabalain testified "Luque was in charge of everything related to the health” of Maradona and when his home care was discussed it was said multiple times that “it would be serious, with nurses 24/7, specialists [and] an ambulance at disposition.”

The family give the impression that those standards were not met.

Jana, 24, also confirmed on Friday that it was Luque who insisted on sending the former footballer to the house in Tigre where he died.

Baqué added that Jana reported having difficulties communicating with her father in the days leading up to his death, since “his number was changed very often and her messages did not reach him.”

Gianinna also referred to the fact that the psychiatrist had said that she gave Maradona a drug to make him reject alcohol, but the name of the drug has not been identified..

The prosecution also summoned a meeting on March 8 in La Plata with the doctors who performed Maradona’s autopsy along with other specialists in order to determine if there was malpractice in the footballer's care.

A first autopsy conducted the day Maradona died found he had suffered from liquid on the lungs with acute heart failure brought on by a disease of the heart muscles that makes it harder to pump blood. His heart was twice the normal size.

– TIMES/AFP

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