Prosecutors extend probe into Maradona’s mysterious death

Buenos Aires: In connection with probing the death of football star Diego Maradona, Argentine’s justice officials on Sunday ordered the search of properties of his doctor.

Maradona died at age 60 of cardiac arrest last Wednesday. Prosecutors in the affluent Buenos Aires suburb San Isidro had requested a local judge for issuing orders to search of properties.

 A statement issued by the prosecutor’s office said that yesterday the investigation of evidence continued and statements from people including direct relatives of Maradona were taken. The statement further said that it was considered necessary to request for searches at the home and office of Maradona’s doctor Leopoldo Luque. However, the prosecutor’s office did not provide any information as to what prompted the investigation.

The three prosecutors investigating the case have also requested for provision of his medical records and CCTV camera recordings from the neighbourhood.

Maradona’s lawyer Matias Moria on Thursday had vowed that he would demand a full investigation of the circumstances in which football legend died. The lawyer claimed that the response by emergency service was slow which led to the death of Maradona. Matias on Thursday tweeted that the ambulance took more than half an hour to arrive which was criminal idiocy.

It is learnt that the probe was also prompted by the concerns raised by Maradona’s three daughters namely Dalma, Gianinna and Jana. The family members had expressed concern over the treatment Maradona received for his heart treatment at his home in Tigre.

According to AFP, a source close to the San Isidro inquiry said that the investigations were continuing and witnesses including Maradona’s family members joined the investigation.

AFP contacted medical consultant Leopoldo Luque who declined to comment. He, however, posted his November 12 photograph with Maradona, a day when the legend was discharged from hospital eight days after surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.

Maradona after returning home to Tigre had received round-the-clock medical care. A family member on the condition of anonymity said that the clinic had recommended his admission in the hospital but the family decided otherwise and his daughters signed for him to be discharged from the hospital.

A judicial source told AFP that no complaint had yet been filed but the case was initiated because he died at home and no one signed his death certificate. “It does not mean there are suspicions or irregularities,” he said.

According to a preliminary autopsy report, Maradona died in his sleep at noon due to acute lung oedema and chronic heart failure.

Three funeral home workers had invited outrage of fans after they posed for photos next to Maradona’s open coffins, smiling with their thumbs up. One of the men has since apologized.

The football world was left stunned after the news of the passing of Maradona, aged 60, came. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez had announced national mourning for three days to express the condolence on the demise of Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986.

Soon after the news of death, tributes poured in from friends, former rivals and footballers of all generations. Football legend and retired Brazilian football star Pele mourned Maradona’s death. Pele, in a brief statement provided to Reuters by his representative, said that he and Maradona would kick a ball together in the sky above certainly one day.

Maradona was one of the most gifted football players in history. His pinnacle of glory came when he led Argentina team to win the World Cup in 1986 in Mexico in which he scored two famous goals in one game against England in the quarter-finals. He was, however, kicked out in 1994 World Cup on the charges of doping.

Years of drug use, overeating and alcoholism shortened a career and changed his appearance from an agile athlete who could slalom effortlessly through teams to a distended addict who nearly died of cocaine-induced heart failure in 2000.

Maradona, at club level, broke on to the scene with Buenos Aires’ Boca Juniors. Before that, he played in Spain with Barcelona. Maradona became an idol in Italy after leading Napoli to their first-ever Italian league title in 1987. Then he ended his career in Argentina returning to Boca. He was surrounded by controversies throughout his playing career and Argentine’s national team coach from 2008 to 2010.

Maradona was famous as a magician with the ball and he was deceptively quick as well as a visionary passer. He is considered by the football world as the greatest football player edging out the other great Brazil’s Pele.

Maradona was worshipped as ‘El Dios’, The God, in Argentina. Maradona would describe the sport as his ‘salvation’ and his talent helped him raise his family out of poverty, leaving Boca Juniors in his native Argentina for a world record transfer fee to Barcelona in 1982.

The five foot and five-inch legend player spent two injury-ravaged years at the Catalan club. On signing for Napoli, one newspaper put it: “The poorest city in Italy buys the most expensive player in the world.” In the city of Naples, football is like religion to its inhabitants. Estimated 70,000 of his fans flooded to Napoli’s San Paolo stadium to catch a glimpse of Maradona, hardly able to believe that the great footballer had opted to play for their team.

During his seven years at the club, he would single-handedly guide Napoli to its first-ever Serie A title in 1987. Following a failed drug test in 1991 and another failed drug test at the 1994 World Cup along with a 15-month ban from football, Maradona’s career on the pitch fizzled out. He failed to reclaim that form which astounded fans and opponents despite he had stints in Spain and Argentina.

His chaotic spell ended when he entered his managerial career and took charge of the Argentina national team. His time in charge of Mexican club Dorados was surprisingly successful but it ended with two narrow promotion play-off defeats.

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