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Argentina launches probe into Maradona’s cause of death



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The prosecutor’s office in Buenos Aires is investigating the death of football icon Diego Maradona following allegations that ambulances took more than half an hour to reach the football star’s house in response to an emergency call.

People gather to mourn the death of football legend Diego Maradona, outside the Diego Armando Maradona stadium, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 25, 2020.

People gather to mourn the death of football legend Diego Maradona, outside the Diego Armando Maradona stadium, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 25, 2020. (Reuters)

Judicial sources in Argentina have said prosecutors are investigating the circumstances surrounding Diego Maradona’s death and whether it may have involved medical negligence.

“There are already irregularities,” a close family member told AFP.

Earlier Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla had called for an investigation into allegations that ambulances took more than half an hour to reach the football star’s house in response to an emergency call on the day of his death.

A preliminary autopsy report established that Maradona died in her sleep at noon Wednesday of “acute lung edema and chronic heart failure.”

The prosecutor’s office in Buenos Aires has opened a file called “Maradona, Diego. Decision on cause of death.”

“The case was initiated because he was a person who died at home and no one signed his death certificate. It does not mean that there are suspicions or irregularities,” said a judicial source, asking to remain anonymous.

READ MORE: Maradona carried the spirit of the Global South

Round the clock medical care

The 60-year-old Argentine football legend was receiving round-the-clock medical care at a house in a gated community in Tigre, north of Buenos Aires, where he was recovering from surgery to have a clot on his brain in early November.

READ MORE: Successful Maradona brain surgery: doctor

“You have to see if they did what they were supposed to do or whether they were relaxed,” a family member told AFP.

“The nurse made a statement when the prosecutor appeared on the day of Diego’s death, then expanded her statement and finally went on television to say that what she said was forced upon her, so there is some contradiction in her statement, “the close relative said.

The prosecutor’s office is awaiting the results of toxicological tests on Maradona’s body.

The three prosecutors working on the case have requested star medical records, as well as recordings from neighborhood security cameras.

Another nurse who cared for Maradona was likely the last person to see the star alive, at dawn break on Wednesday, prosecutors said in a statement Friday.

“From his words, it could be established that he was the last person to be seen [Maradona] live at about 6:30 in the morning, “as the night shift at the star’s house is coming to an end, he said.

The nurse, who was interviewed by prosecutors on Thursday, referred to “having him rest in his bed, making sure he was sleeping and breathing normally.”

Maradona’s nephew, Johnny Herrera, was previously thought to be the last person to see Maradona, at 11:30 pm local time on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said the nurse present at his house at the time of death told them she had heard Maradona “moving around inside the room” at 7:30 am.

READ MORE: Maradona football legend to be discharged from hospital

They said at 12:17 pm, “Maradona’s personal secretary requested medical assistance, and an ambulance from the company + VIDA was present at 12:28 pm, according to film records of the San Andres neighborhood obtained by the prosecutor’s office.”

Several ambulances arrived from other medical service providers later.

Investigators have also established that Maradona’s personal physician, Leopoldo Luque, had already made a 911 call at 12:16 pm, requesting an ambulance.

Source: AFP

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