An Argentine appeals court has confirmed that eight health professionals will stand trial over their alleged role in the death of football legend Diego Maradona.
As requested by prosecutors, the eight are accused of “simple homicide with wanton disregard” and could face between eight and 25 years in jail if found guilty.
Maradona died on Nov. 25, 2020, aged 60 from heart failure after the former Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli star had undergone brain surgery earlier that month.
After a unanimous decision not to dismiss the case, the San Isidro Board of Appeals confirmed on Tuesday that neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov and six other health workers, all involved in Maradona’s medical care, will be tried.
The date of the trial has yet to be set but is expected to start in 2024.
Carlos Fabian Blanco, one of the judges of the San Isidro appeals court, said that there was enough evidence brought forward by the prosecutors for the eight health professionals to stand trial.
Nursing coordinator Mariano Perroni, nurses Ricardo Omar Almiron and Gisella Madrid, psychologist Carlos Diaz, medical coordinator Nancy Forlini and clinical doctor Pedro Di Spagna will also be tried.
An autopsy revealed that Maradona died in his sleep of acute pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs, because of congestive heart failure.
The report also revealed that the heart of the 1986 World Cup winner, who had suffered a series of medical problems due to drugs and alcohol, weighed almost twice as much as a normal heart.
A medical board was formally appointed to investigate Maradona’s death and concluded that several members of his medical team acted in an “inappropriate, deficient and reckless manner,” and said he was not properly monitored before he died.
The medical report also said “the patient’s signs of risk of life were ignored,” adding that Maradona “showed unequivocal signs of a prolonged agony period” for at least 12 hours.
One of Maradona’s daughters, Dalma, wrote on Instagram after Tuesday’s news: “Many times the process is painful and slow, and we will not stop until justice is done! Everyone that stopped doing their job [at someone’s request or because of ineffectiveness] will be judged for that!”
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