Second nurse to face questions over Diego Maradona’s death

Seven people are accused of failing to provide adequate care to the football icon before his death in November last year.

Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup triumph in 1986 and was celebrated by football fans around the world, died in November at age 60 after suffering a heart attack [File: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters]

A second former nurse of Diego Maradona will be questioned in Argentina on Wednesday, as part of a probe into whether medical staff neglected to provide adequate care to the global football icon before he died last year.

Dahiana Gisela Madrid, 36, is one of the seven people under investigation for manslaughter after a board of experts looking into Maradona’s death found he was abandoned to his fate for a “prolonged, agonising period”.

Maradona, who led Argentina to the World Cup triumph in 1986 and was celebrated by football fans around the world, died in November at age 60 after suffering a heart attack.

The investigation into his death was launched after two of Maradona’s children filed a complaint against neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, whom they blame for their father’s deteriorating condition after he underwent brain surgery.

In March, hundreds of Argentinians took to the streets to demand answers and justice for Maradona, who is revered in the South American nation.

The star’s night-time caregiver, 37-year-old Ricardo Almiron, on Monday was the first to be questioned as part of the ongoing probe. Almiron’s lawyer told reporters that his client “was told by his superiors not to disturb the patient”.

Madrid, who was Maradona’s daytime nurse, was one of the people who found him without any signs of life. According to a previous witness statement, she said she tried to revive him.

She also said that when arriving for her shift, she had not performed a routine check on Maradona as she wanted to leave him to rest.

A written report then emerged in which Madrid claimed to have tried to check on Maradona but he had turned her away. She later admitted that was a lie and said her boss, Mariano Perroni, who is also under investigation, had asked her to fabricate the report.

If found guilty, the seven members of Maradona’s medical team could face between eight and 25 years in prison. They are barred from leaving Argentina while the investigation is under way.

Maradona is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest football players, and Argentina declared three days of national mourning when he died.

Argentinian mourner Wilson Cisnero told Al Jazeera after the footballer’s death that “Argentina is Maradona”.

“Now soccer is left without its God,” Cisnero said.

Source: AFP, Al Jazeera