Eight medical professionals who cared for football icon Diego Maradona before his death will be tried for homicide in Argentina, according to a court ruling released on Wednesday.
Maradona died in November 2020 at the age of 60 due to cardiac arrest.
The former Argentina captain, who inspired his nation to victory at the 1986 World Cup, had undergone surgery for a subdural haematoma in the weeks prior to his death.
A medical board appointed to investigate Maradona's death concluded in 2021 that his medical team had acted in an "inappropriate, deficient and reckless manner."
Eight people will now stand trial and are accused of 'simple homicide' – a charge that means taking a life with intent and carries a sentence of between eight and 25 years in prison.
In a 236-page document seen by Reuters, the judge in charge of the case questioned "the behaviours - active or by omission - of each of the accused which led to and contributed to the realization of the harmful result."
The defendants named in the ruling were Maradona's neurosurgeon and personal doctor, Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, psychologist Carlos Diaz, nurses Gisella Madrid and Ricardo Almiron, their boss Mariano Perroni, and doctors Pedro Di Spagna and Nancy Forlini.
All eight have denied responsibility for Maradona's death and the judge presiding over the case has said that lawyers for some of the accused have requested for the case to be dismissed.
An attorney for Cosachov, Vadim Mischanchuk, said they would appeal the decision.
"A guilty party is being sought at all costs and objectivity is being lost," said Mischanchuk.
Widely viewed as one of the greatest players in history, Maradona battled drug and alcohol addiction in the years before his death.
He underwent a gastric bypass operation to lose weight in 2005 and was treated in 2007 for life-threatening alcohol-induced hepatitis.
The former Barcelona and Napoli legend was also admitted to hospital prior death because he was "psychologically ill".
Following his death, there were three days of national mourning in Argentina, where is nicknamed 'El Pibe de Oro' – 'The Golden Boy'.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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