An investigation into the death of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has become a “trial by media”, a defense lawyer said on Monday.
Maradona died of a heart attack aged 60 last November, less than a month after undergoing surgery in Buenos Aires to remove a blood clot on his brain.
A report leaked to the media last week said the former Napoli star’s medical team had acted in an “inappropriate, deficient and reckless manner,” adding that he was not given the appropriate care.
The report, written by a medical committee appointed to probe the circumstances of Maradona’s death, was submitted to prosecutors in Buenos Aires on Monday.
“The evidence that was leaked, as well as the audios and witness testimony, the extracts, including edited audios and chats, involve less than half of the defendants. Is that not striking?” Vadim Mischanchuk told reporters.
“It would seem there is an intention to produce a trial by media, a trial prior to the delivery of justice, and that is not good at all.”
Investigators have said they are trying to determine whether there was negligence on the part of doctors and medical staff.
An initial autopsy found that Maradona had died from “acute pulmonary edema secondary to exacerbated chronic heart failure with dilated cardiomyopathy”.
Results of a second autopsy, published in late December by the San Isidro public prosecutor, revealed Maradona was suffering from problems related to his kidneys, heart and lungs.
Following his brain surgery on Nov. 3, Maradona’s personal doctor Leopoldo Luque said the former attacking playmaker required treatment for “abstinence”. He did not provide further details of the condition, but Maradona had previously battled drug and alcohol addiction.
Luque and psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov both had their homes and workplaces raided by police in the days after Maradona’s death as part of the investigation.
Argentine media has reported that a psychologist, two nurses, and two medical coordinators are also under investigation. No charges have been filed in the case so far.
Maradona, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, shared the award for FIFA’s Best Players of the 20th Century with Brazilian legend Pele.
The Argentine’s passing prompted mourning worldwide, particularly in his homeland, where he was revered for leading the national team to the 1986 World Cup title.