Argentine prosecutors investigate death of soccer star Maradona


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Group D - Nigeria vs Argentina - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 26, 2018 Diego Maradona in the stands before the match REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine justice officials on Sunday seized medical files from the doctor of Diego Maradona as part of their investigation into the recent death of the soccer star.

Maradona died at age 60 on Wednesday after a heart attack.

The search order was requested by prosecutors in the affluent Buenos Aires suburb San Isidro and signed by a local judge, according to a statement issued by the prosecutor's office.

"Yesterday (Saturday) the investigation and substantiation of evidence continued with the taking of statements from people including direct relatives of the deceased," it said.

"By virtue of the evidence that was collected, it was considered necessary to request searches at the home and office of doctor Leopoldo Luque," the prosecutor's office said in the statement.

The prosecutor's office provided no information on what prompted the investigation.

"They took the clinical files," Luque told local television after law enforcement officers searched his home and office.

"There was no medical error," Luque said, adding that he not responsible for the death of the soccer player who catapulted to international fame and semi-devine status at home after leading the Argentine team that won the 1986 World Cup.

Maradona had struggled for years with substance abuse issues. "I did the best I could with Diego. He needed help," Luque said.

Maradona's lawyer, Matias Moria, on Thursday said he would ask for a full investigation of the circumstances of the soccer legend's death, criticizing what he said was a slow response by emergency service.

"The ambulance took more than half an hour to arrive, which was a criminal idiocy," Matias said on Thursday in a Twitter post.

(Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Ramiro Scandolo; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker)

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