An Argentine appeals court has confirmed eight healthcare professionals will stand trial over their alleged role in the death of soccer legend Diego Maradona.
As requested by prosecutors, the eight people face charges of “common murder with wanton disregard” and could face between eight and 25 years in prison if found guilty.
Maradona died of heart failure on November 25, 2020 at the age of 60 after the former star of Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli underwent brain surgery earlier in the month.
After a unanimous decision not to dismiss the case, the San Isidro Appeals Committee on Tuesday confirmed that neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov and six other health workers, all involved in Maradona’s medical care, will stand trial.
The trial date has not yet been set, but is expected to begin in 2024.
Carlos Fabian Blanco, one of the judges at the San Isidro Court of Appeals, said prosecutors had produced enough evidence for the eight health professionals to stand trial.
Also on trial are care coordinator Mariano Perroni, nurses Ricardo Omar Almiron and Gisella Madrid, psychologist Carlos Diaz, medical coordinator Nancy Forlini and clinical doctor Pedro Di Spagna.
An autopsy revealed that Maradona died in his sleep from acute pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs, due to heart failure.
The report also revealed that the heart of the 1986 world champion, who had been suffering from a range of medical problems due to drugs and alcohol, weighed almost twice as much as a normal heart.
A medical panel was officially appointed to investigate Maradona’s death and concluded that several members of his medical team had acted in “inappropriate, deficient and reckless ways” and said he was not properly monitored before his death.
The medical report also said that “signs of the patient’s life being in danger were ignored,” adding that Maradona showed “clear signs of a prolonged period of torment” for at least 12 hours.
One of Maradona’s daughters, Dalma, wrote on Instagram after Tuesday’s news: “Often the process is painful and slow and we will not stop until justice is done! Anyone who stopped doing their job [at someone’s request or because of ineffectiveness] will be condemned for it!”