Argentine prosecutors are investigating Diego Maradona’s doctor for possible manslaughter following the footballing 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 Maradona’s treatment following surgery. The 60-year-old died of a heart attack at his home where he was recuperating. Dr Luque has not been charged. He denies any wrongdoing. Maradona had a successful operation on a brain blood clot earlier in November and had been due to be treated for alcohol dependency. His daughters have pressed for details about their father’s medication. Some 30 police officers raided 39-year-old Dr Luque’s house on Sunday morning – with another 20 going into his clinic in the capital Buenos Aires. The raids were ordered by prosecutors trying to build a picture of Maradona’s last days at home. They retrieved computers, mobile phones and medical notes, officials say. There are suspicions that the star’s convalescence at home might not have met the conditions of his discharge from the clinic, such as a 24-hour team of nurses “specialised in substance abuse”, the on-call presence of doctors and a stand-by ambulance equipped with a defibrillator. Officials want to know about Dr Luque’s involvement in Maradona’s recovery arrangements at the late star’s house. In an emotional press conference on Sunday, Dr Luque – who has been described as the footballer’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.” The doctor 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 centre. He didn’t want to,” Dr Luque said, calling the late star “unmanageable”. He 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. And 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”.