Monday, 25 October 2021

Doctor in dock in Spain’s ‘stolen babies’ trial

ADRID – An 85-year-old doctor appeared in the dock on Tuesday in the first trial in Spain over thousands of suspected cases of babies stolen from their mothers during the Franco era amid emotional protests outside the Madrid court.

Dozens of demonstrators, many wearing yellow T-shirts with the slogan “Justice”, gathered outside the court as Eduardo Vela, who worked as a gynaecologist at the now-defunct San Ramon clinic in Madrid, arrived.

Carmen Lorente, who came to the court from the southern city of Seville to protest, said she was told her baby son suffocated in the womb in 1979 even though she recalls hearing him cry after giving birth in 1979.

“It is a very important day for all those who are affected and for all mothers. Because a precedent is created by this man sitting in the dock,” she said.

Vela is accused of having in 1969 taken Ines Madrigal, now aged 49, from her biological mother, and given her to another woman who raised her and was falsely certified as her birth mother.

Prosecutors are seeking an 11-year jail term for falsifying official documents, illegal adoption, unlawful detention and certifying a non-existent birth.

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