Publicado: Mar, Octubre 09, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Court: Doctor in Spain abducted newborn 49 years ago

Court: Doctor in Spain abducted newborn 49 years ago

A Spanish doctor accused of stealing and selling a baby during the dictatorship is guilty of all charges but can not be punished due to the statute of limitations, a Madrid court said on Monday.

The Madrid court said Eduardo Vela was responsible for abducting Ines Madrigal in 1969 and forging official documents before the newborn was handed to her adoptive parents.

Monday's verdict is Spain's first in relation to the abduction of thousands of children during the country's Civil War and the decades of Gen. Francisco Franco's dictatorship that followed.

A Spanish court ruled Monday that a doctor stole a newborn child almost five decades ago, one of the many abducted during Spain's 20th-century dictatorship, but cleared him because the statute of limitations had expired.

Ms Madrigal, who learned at 18 that she wasn't living with her biological parents, argued that she couldn't have lodged her complaint earlier because she only learned about the scheme in 2010, when her adopting mother, who died three years later, disclosed the details of what had happened at Vela's clinic.

Vela, who faced more than 11 years in prison, had denied all the allegations during the trial.

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DNA tests confirmed the account, but Ms Madrigal's biological parents were never found.

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

The 85-year-old former doctor was the first person to face trial over the so-called "stolen babies" scandal that took place during and after Spain's fascist dictatorship of General Franco.

"I'm happy because the judges are acknowledging that there was theft, that I was taken away from my mother, but I didn't think they would stop short of convicting him", she told reporters, adding that "the judges should had been courageous".

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

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