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Medical Team For Soccer Star Diego Maradona Charged In His November Death

Argentinian soccer player Diego Maradona died in November days after a brain surgery. Seven members of his medical team are facing charges in his death.
David Cannon
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Argentinian soccer player Diego Maradona died in November days after a brain surgery. Seven members of his medical team are facing charges in his death.

Seven people have been charged with "simple homicide with eventual intent" in the death of Argentinian soccer great Diego Maradona, according to several news reports.

Prosecutors in San Isidro, Argentina, have asked a judge not to allow the seven medical professionals charged in Maradona's death to leave the country, according to an ESPN report.

If convicted the seven can face between eight to 25 years in prison.

Maradona, who rose from the slums of Buenos Aires to lead Argentina's national soccer team to victory in the 1986 World Cup, died in November at the age of 60. He reportedly suffered a heart attack at his home following brain surgery.

Five days after his death, police searched the home and office of Maradona's personal doctor, Leopoldo Luque.

Luque and Maradona's psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, and psychologist Carlos Díaz who treated the former Napoli star after his brain surgery, are among the seven individuals charged. Two nurses, a nurse coordinator, a doctor, and a psychologist are also facing charges.

Prosecutors began looking into the circumstances of Maradona's death after the soccer star's family demanded officials investigate further. Officials appointed a medical board in March to determine whether there was evidence showing Maradona's medical team was culpable in his death.

According to The Buenos Aires Times, the board found in a report provided to prosecutors earlier this month that Maradona received inadequate medical care and was left in a worsening state for a "prolonged, agonizing period" before his death.

Maradona's medical team allegedly knew he was using alcohol, psychiatric medication, and marijuana in the final months of his life, according to messages and WhatsApp audio recordings reviewed by investigators.

That report also revealed the medical team who attended to Maradona prior to his death acted in an "inappropriate, deficient and reckless manner" and left him "to his own devices."

Maradona's autopsy determined he died in his sleep of acute pulmonary edema, a condition involving fluid buildup in the lungs, because of congestive heart failure.

The seven charged will begin testifying to investigators from May 31 to June 14.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.
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