Eight healthcare professionals, including two physicians, have been formally charged with negligence in the death of Argentine iconic footballer Diego Armando Maradona, it was announced at the San Isidro Courthouse in the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires.
The defendants are to be held accountable for simple homicide with eventual malice, which would roughly translate as neglectful manslaughter and carries a penalty of between 8 and 25 years in jail.
The defendants include brain surgeon Leopoldo Luciano Luque (40), psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov (36), generalist Pedro Pablo Di Spagna (49), and psychologist Carlos Ángel Charly Díaz (30) as well as nurses and other care providers.
The conduct that each of the defendants would have deployed, not complying with the mandate to act that good medical practice placed in their heads, when I must insist once again, they were aware of the situation of risk to the legal property, the position of guarantor they occupied and the certain possibility of acting, would have supplied the malice required by the figure of Article 79 of the Criminal Code, in the case under the formulation of eventual malice, said the Judge in his indictment ruling.
The magistrate also pointed out there was an absence of interposition of any saving action that could avoid the death and an internal acceptance of the defendants of the eventual occurrence of the result finally produced.
Each one of the defendants, from the place they concretely occupied in the global configuration of the event in question, would have exercised the co-dominion of the fact, deciding about its integral occurrence, based on the contributions of each one of them introduced in the fatal outcome, all essential for the realization of the result achieved, the 236-page writ also stated.
Luque has also been charged with having used a forged signature of Maradona to request a medical record, while Cosachov is to account for issuing a note declaring Maradona mentally fit for the surgery without even visiting the patient.
The judge has thus acquiesced to the prosecution's view that the defendants were deficient, reckless and indifferent, and that they knew Maradona could die in the state in which he was left and did nothing to prevent it.
The defendants will remain out of prison for the duration of their trial.
Maradona died in Tigre on November 25, 2020, amid lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires, at a house he had rented for his recuperation following brain surgery for subdural edema.
The autopsy also found out that the former player had died of acute pulmonary edema secondary to exacerbated chronic heart failure and discovered a dilated cardiomyopathy.
According to 17 of the 22 experts who participated in the forensic investigation, Maradona was a patient with multiple pathologies who was not in full use of his mental faculties and could have had more chances of survival if he had been hospitalized in a clinic.
Maradona agonized for at least 12 hours due to the deficient attention in a home hospitalization that was not appropriate for Maradona's condition, despite which it was endorsed by the treating medical team, the prosecution argued.