Diego Maradona’s doctor is being investigated by Argentine prosecutors for possible manslaughter following the soccer legend’s death four days ago.
Police in Buenos Aires have searched the house and private clinic of Leopoldo Luque as they try to establish if there was negligence in Diego Maradona’s treatment following surgery.
Maradona died of a heart attack at his home where he was recuperating. He was 60.
Dr. Luque, 39, denies wrongdoing and says he is co-operating with the inquiry.
Diego Maradona had a successful operation on a brain blood clot earlier in November and had been due to be treated for alcohol dependency.
Some 30 police officers raided Dr. Luque’s house on November 29 – with another 30 going into his clinic in the capital Buenos Aires.
The raids were ordered by prosecutors trying to build a picture of Diego Maradona’s last days at home.
There are suspicions that Maradona’s convalescence at home might not have met the conditions of his discharge from the clinic, such as a 24-hour team of nurses “specialized in substance abuse”, the on-call presence of doctors and a stand-by ambulance equipped with a defibrillator.
Officials want to know how often Dr. Luque went to see Maradona at his house.
In an emotional press conference on November 29, Dr. Luque – who has been described as Maradona’s personal physician – cried, saying he had done all he could to save the life of a friend. He said Maradona had been very sad lately.
At one point, the doctor shot back at reporters: “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.”
Dr. Luque said he had done “everything he could, up to the impossible”.
Then addressing some of the concerns authorities are looking into, Dr. Luque cast doubt on what his role actually was. ”If you ask me, I’m a neurosurgeon and my job ended. I was done with him,” he said referring to November’s surgery – and insisting Maradona’s convalescence at home was not his responsibility.
“He [Maradona] should have gone to a rehabilitation center. He didn’t want to,” Dr. Luque said, calling the late star “unmanageable”.
Dr. Luque also said he did not know why there was no defibrillator or who was responsible for the fact that there was no ambulance outside Maradona’s house.
He added: Diego “was very sad, he wanted to be alone, and it’s not because he didn’t love his daughters, his family, or those around him”.
Diego Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous “Hand of God” goal against England in the quarter-finals.
He played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side. He started his career with Argentinos Juniors, also playing for Sevilla, and Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys in his homeland.
Diego Maradona scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups.