STOLEN BABIES SCANDAL: Woman abducted by doctor 50 years ago

STOLEN BABIES SCANDAL: Woman abducted by doctor 50 years ago

STOLEN BABIES SCANDAL: Woman abducted by doctor 50 years ago

A Spanish court has ruled that a doctor stole a newborn almost five decades ago, one of many abducted during Spain's 20th-century dictatorship.

Ms Madrigal brought her case 25 years after she became an adult, but the statute of limitations is 10 years.

The court said 85-year-old Spanish gynecologist 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.

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.

An 85-year-old gynecologist in Spain was responsible for stealing a newborn almost 50 years ago - but he won't be convicted because the statute of limitations has expired, a court ruled Monday.

Monday's verdict is Spain's first in relation to the abduction of thousands of children during the country's Civil War in the 1930s and the decades of General Francisco Franco's dictatorship that followed.


Vela, who was the director of a Madrid clinic considered to be at the epicentre of the scandal, denied the accusations.

Prosecutors had called for him to face an 11-year prison sentence.

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

The children were then given to pro-Franco families or the church, who educated the children on the regime's ideology and on Roman Catholicism.

Madrigal, now 49, said she said the verdict was "bittersweet" and she would be appealing to the country's Supreme Court. Most lawsuits have been rejected in the past by courts for coming after the statute of limitations expired.

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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