Prosecutors investigating the 2020 death of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona have asked that the medical staff who treated him be tried for negligent homicide.
In their request Wednesday, the prosecutors said "omissions" and mismanagement by eight medical professionals in charge of Maradona placed him in a "situation of helplessness" and abandoned him "to his fate," according to the court filing cited by the official Télam news agency.
Nearly one year and five months have passed since the death of Maradona aged 60 on November 25, 2020, while recovering from brain surgery for a blood clot. After decades of battles with cocaine and alcohol addictions, 'El Diez' passed away during a home hospitalisation in the private neighbourhood of San Andrés.
Neurosurgeon and family doctor Leopoldo Luque and psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov are under investigation over his death as the main people responsible for the health of the former football star. Six others – psychologist Carlos Díaz, medical coordinator Nancy Forlini, nursing coordinator Mariano Perron, nurses Ricardo Almirón and Dahiana Madrid and clinical doctor Pedro Pablo Di Spagna – are also accused.
The prosecution accuses them of "simple homicide with dolus eventualis," an offence in which a person is negligent while knowing their negligence can cause someone's death.
They could face sentences ranging from eight to 25 years in prison.
According to the prosecutors, the defendants "were the protagonists of an unprecedented, totally deficient and reckless hospitalisation at home," and allegedly committed a "series of improvisations, mismanagement and shortcomings."
“The home hospitalisation itself, while it lasted, was outrageous,” they stated.
A key point of the accusation concerned the conclusions reached by a medical board of experts that for two months analysed the circumstances surrounding Maradona’s death.
Seventeen of the 22 experts who participated concluded that the late footballer was a patient with multiple pathologies who was left in agony 12 hours before his death. They concluded that "he was not in full use of his mental faculties" and that he could have had "more chances of survival" if he had been in a clinic.
The defence must now present its arguments and may ask for the case to be dismissed. Judges will then decide if the case should be sent to trial in San Isidro, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.