Maradona's doctor probed for involuntary manslaughter | DW | 29.11.2020  11/29/2020 17:26:15   Author: Alex Berry

Diego Maradona's doctor is under investigation for involuntary manslaughter four days after the Argentine legend suffered a fatal heart attack, state news agency Telam has reported.

Police raided the home and clinic of Maradona's doctor Leopoldo Luque early Sunday, according to several local news outlets.

The raid came after witnesses reportedly told investigators they had seen a fight between Maradona and his 39-year-old personal physician, which allegedly included a shove.

The daily La Nacion newspaper cited a source as saying the searches were ordered as part of an investigation into "culpable homicide."

Leopoldo Luque

Maradona's personal physician Leopoldo Luque

Court investigators have been taking declarations from Maradona's relatives, according to prosecutors overseeing the probe into the medical attention, the former Barcelona and Napoli forward received prior to his death.

Doctor responds to accusations

Luque gave an emotional to the suspicions in a televised news conference, saying through tears: "You want to know what I am responsible for? For having loved him, for having taken care of him, for having extended his life, for having improved it to the end."

Maradona's personal doctor said that he had done "everything he could, up to the impossible" to save his "friend."

He also pointed to the fact that there should have been a defibrillator inside the soccer star's house as well as an ambulance parked outside, but that neither of those failures was up to him.

Luque declared his willingness to spontaneously give testimony in front of a judge even if he wasn't called in by investigators.

Nation mourns a legend

Argentina is coming out of three days of national mourning following the death of the football legend.

Maradona died after suffering from a heart attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

On November 11, Luque allowed Maradona to leave hospital eight days after undergoing brain surgery. At the time, the doctor published a photo of himself and his famous patient on Instagram, showing Maradona with a bandage on his head.

La Nacion reported that investigators were seeking to establish to what extent he was responsible for Maradona's care, and how often he went to check on his patient.

Read more: Two days with Diego Maradona

Luque was not at Maradona's home at the time of his death, but he did place a call to emergency services. Local media outlet Opinion Frontal has released an audio clip of that recording, in which Luque is heard calling an ambulance.

Maradona was initially hospitalized because of a blood clot in his brain. He suffered from serious health problems for many years, including multiple heart attacks, hepatitis and a gastric bypass due to his issues with his weight. 

  • A mural of Maradona painted on a wall in Naples, Italy

    On the first weekend following Diego Maradona's death, athletes from around the world paid tribute to football's legendary Number 10. The Argentine died on November 25 from a heart attack at the age of 60. The commemorations, which took place mostly in empty stadiums, lost none of their emotional poignancy.

  • A player from Bristol City FC wearing a black armband during their game against Reading

    The methods of remembering one of soccer's all-time greats varied from stadium to stadium. Teams from England's Premier League held a minute's applause while some also wore a black armband as a show of mourning. Manchester City and Burnley players clapped as they watched a video of Maradona's two famous goals which knocked England out of the 1986 World Cup.

  • French players holding a minute's silence as Maradona's face appears on a large screen

    Players from French top teams Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain held a minute's silence while standing in the formation of the letter "M." Both clubs also hung banners saying "Adios." The Argentine ambassador to France, Leonardo Constantino, unfurled his country's national flag from the Parc des Princes stadium.

  • Maradona's shirt on display in an empty German soccer stadium

    Players held a minute's silence in Germany and other European countries, too  with Maradona's jersey on display during a Borussia Dortmund match. Maradona played for teams in Italy and Spain, notably Naples and Barcelona. Italian players also wore black armbands while stadiums projected Maradona's face on screens during the 10th minute of the game in recognition of his shirt number.

  • A cutout of Maradona appears in Ipswich Stadium among cut-outs of other fans

    Maradona was among the cutout fans in the stands at Portman Road Stadium. He scored two goals against England in the 1982 World Cup in Mexico. One is famously known as the "Hand of God" after the Argentine's hand knocked the ball into the net  a foul that went unpenalized. The other went down as FIFA's goal of the century. The football star was beloved for his dominance and flair on the field.

  • New Zealand captain Sam Cane laying a shirt in the middle of the pitch with Maradona's name on it

    The tributes weren't limited to football matches. Before their Tri-Nations game against Argentina, the New Zealand Rugby team laid an All Blacks shirt with Maradona's name and famous number 10 printed on it in the middle of the field. Argentine players nodded in recognition of the commemorative act.

  • Paris Saint-Germain player Kylian MBappe wearing a tshirt with Maradona's face

    Kylian MBappe of Paris Saint-Germain donned a special T-shirt with the soccer legend's face and the words "Rest in peace" in Spanish. Sevilla football club in Spain appeared at their match on Saturday wearing reproductions of the shirts from the season when Maradona played there, with all the players sporting the number 10 during the minute's silence.

    Author: Alex Berry

« Go back