Spain rules ‘stolen baby’ doctor guilty, but he cannot be punished


October 08, 2018 22:06:49

A Spanish doctor accused of stealing and selling a baby during the dictatorship has been found guilty of all charges but cannot be punished due to the statute of limitations, a Madrid court has ruled.

The court said 85-year-old Spanish gynaecologist Eduardo Vela was responsible for the abduction of a child, faking a birth and falsifying official documents, but was absolved after the baby reached adulthood in 1987.

The lawyer of the woman at the centre of the case, Ines Madrigal, told reporters outside the court they would appeal against the decision.

The statute of limitations imposes deadlines on courts to complete legal proceedings.

Ms Madrigal, who was told by her mother at 18 that she was adopted, accused Mr Vela of forging her 1969 birth certificate to show her adoptive mother, now dead, as her biological parent.

Mr Vela, who had denied the charges, was the first person prosecuted over the “stolen babies” scandal that affected thousands during General Francisco Franco’s rule.

Many of the cases date back to the right-wing dictatorship of 1929-75 when campaigners say officials took babies from “unsuitable” mothers — often communist or leftists — and gave them to families with connections to the regime.

A decade ago, a Spanish judge recorded the cases of about 30,000 Spanish children taken at birth during Franco’s rule.





First posted

October 08, 2018 22:05:15

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