Court postpones start of trial for Maradona's death until October

BUENOS AIRES.- A court Argentina postponed until October 1 the start of the trial against the eight health professionals accused of the death of the soccer star Diego Maradona which was going to start next week.

The Oral Criminal Court No. 3 of San Isidro, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, made the decision to modify the date of June 4 initially set for the start of the judicial process at the request of relatives of Maradona, who died on the 25th. November 2020 at age 60 due to cardiorespiratory arrest.

Eight people, including doctors and nurses, are accused of being responsible for the alleged murder of the former captain of the Argentine national team, who died while undergoing home confinement in a rented house on the outskirts of Buenos Aires after a surgery in which cranial edema was removed.

The court argued that there is a “plurality of issues that have been raised by the different claims of the parties and that to date remain to be resolved,” in a resolution that was published on Tuesday night by Argentine media.

One of the pending questions is whether the accused will be tried by the three members of said court or by a popular jury, as requested by one of the nurses on trial.

Vadim Mischanchuk, lawyer for psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov – one of the defendants in the case – told The Associated Press that “we already knew for approximately a month that the trial could not be held under these conditions.”

The lawyer pointed out that the justice system must also rule on the complaint he filed weeks ago regarding the alleged disappearance of a large part of the urine sample taken during the autopsy performed on Maradona's body and that would have affected the credibility of the studies. toxicological.

“These issues make it unfeasible to start the trial on the scheduled date, since future motions for annulment could be raised,†Mischanchuk said.

The lawyer maintains that due to an alleged irregularity in the transfer of the former soccer player's urine to a laboratory, “two tubes with just 12 milliliters each arrived at a toxicology laboratory, which makes it impossible to reach a conclusive result.”

That suspicion has been rejected by two prosecutors who maintain that it is “absolutely false” that the chain of custody has been violated.

More on the accusations:

The accused – among whom are also a neurosurgeon and a nursing coordinator – will be tried for alleged simple homicide with possible intent, which implies that the perpetrator knows that there is a risk to the life of the other. person, but continues with his actions. Penalties of between 8 and 25 years in prison are foreseen.

On the other hand, the court determined that judicial hearings be recorded and filmed.

After Maradona's death, a medical board concluded that he suffered from heart failure with agony lasting up to 12 hours and that he did not receive the appropriate treatment for a patient of his condition. This led to the conclusion that his death was foreseeable and that medical care was deficient.

But a new expert report carried out at the request of the defendants' defense indicated that Maradona suffered a short-term anguish.

The study indicated that he suffered an “acute ventricular arrhythmia of organic origin or the external action of an element other than a natural one, and the presence of a toxin unrelated to therapeutic drugs could not be ruled out.” Mischanchuk pointed out that this expert opinion signed by five medical examiners “of course will be taken into account” during the trial.