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Baby-Stealing Doctor Faces Court



Spain on Monday sets first trial on verdict linked to thousands of suspected cases of newborns stolen from their mothers.

The scandal saw babies taken away from their mothers, who were told they had suddenly died after birth, and adopted by infertile couples, preferably close to the far-right regime, often with the help of the Catholic Church.

Eduardo Vela, an 85-year-old former gynaecologist who used to run a clinic, is the first to stand trial for alleged involvement in the baby trafficking.

Prosecutors want him jailed for 11 years.

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

Madrigal hopes that her case will help open “thousands of cases that are closed” even if she will never know who her real mother was.

“In this country, a person who played God… cannot remain unpunished,” she said in September at the end of the hearings.

Both sides have been summoned to the Madrid court trying the case at 11:00 am (0900 GMT) on Monday to hear the verdict.

The baby-stealing practice began after Franco came to power following the 1936-39 civil war.