San Isidro (Argentina) (AFP) – The psychiatrist who was treating Diego Maradona when he died last November denies any responsibility for his demise, which an expert panel has blamed on neglect, her lawyer said Thursday.
Agustina Cosachov, 36, will tell investigators the footballer “died of a coronary issue that in no way related to the psychiatric issues she was attending to,” her lawyer Vadim Mischanchuk said as his client arrived to be questioned by prosecutors.
“She was a psychiatric doctor, she had nothing to do with the clinical management of the patient,” the lawyer said.
Cosachov, an addiction specialist, is one of seven medical professionals under investigation for manslaughter over Maradona’s death in a case that has gripped Argentina.
According to the investigation record, Cosachov and neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, 39, were the key personnel in charge of Maradona’s care.
The 1986 World Cup-winning captain died of a heart attack at the age of 60, weeks after undergoing brain surgery for a blood clot.
Cosachov and psychologist Carlos Diaz, 29, found Maradona dead in bed in a rented house in an exclusive Buenos Aires neighborhood where he was receiving home care.
– ‘They killed Diego’ –
Prosecutors opened an investigation after a board of experts looking into the footballer’s death found he had received inadequate care and was abandoned to his fate.
Last week, a lawyer for co-accused nurse Dahiana Madrid, 36, told prosecutors the doctors in charge had “killed Diego.”
“In the end, there were many warning signs that Maradona was going to die, give or take a day. And none of the doctors did anything to prevent it,” attorney Rodolfo Baque said at the time.
Cosachov and Diaz have denied the psychiatric medication Maradona was taking had worsened his heart condition.
Five other people under investigation have given testimony so far: Madrid and fellow nurse Ricardo Almiron, 37; nursing coordinator Mariano Perroni, 40; medical coordinator Nancy Forlini, 52; and psychologist Diaz.
All have denied responsibility for Maradona’s death.
The phase of questioning suspects will finish next Monday with Luque appearing before prosecutors. He has also repeatedly denied any blame.
Maradona had battled cocaine and alcohol addictions for years.
The former Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli star was suffering from liver, kidney and cardiovascular disorders when he died.
Two of Maradona’s children blame Luque for their father’s deterioration after the brain operation.
A panel of 20 medical experts convened by Argentina’s public prosecutor said last month that Maradona’s treatment was rife with “deficiencies and irregularities” and the medical team had left his survival “to fate.”
In the next phase of the investigation, a judge will decide whether or not to order a trial.
If found guilty at the end of the process, which could take years, the seven risk between eight and 25 years in prison. All are barred from leaving the country pending the outcome.
Maradona is an idol to millions of Argentines after he inspired the South American country to only their second World Cup triumph in 1986.
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