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Old 10-11-2018, 03:40 PM
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Default Canarian Weekly: ?Stolen-baby? crime: doctor is guilty, but the law sets him free

MADRID?S High Court has found 85-year-old retired doctor Eduardo Vela guilty of three crimes in Spain?s first ?stolen baby? court case. But he has not been convicted!

Vela was the perpetrator of child abduction, faking a birth and falsifying birth records related to Ines Madrigal, who is believed to be a ?stolen baby?.

Despite the judges admitting the case had ?proved beyond a doubt? that Vela was guilty, the court deemed that the offences had passed the Statute of Limitations.

This law sets a maximum time for a claimant to initiate legal proceedings, from the date of an alleged offence.

Ten years is the set time to report abduction, and the court ruled that the statute of limitations came into effect when Ines Madrigal turned 28.

Abduction was the most serious of the three crimes for which Eduardo Vela was accused, and for him to have been convicted, Ines Madrigal should have claimed between the time she became the legal age of 18, and when she turned 28.

Yet some jurists argued that her 10-year time period should have started from the date Ms Madrigal realised she was a stolen baby. She filed her first complaint in 2012 and is now aged 49.

Vela would have been looking at an 11-year prison sentence, and, potentially, paying compensation to Ms Madrigal.

But she told the court: ?I?m not interested in the money, or for Vela to go to jail. I want this to help get other closed cases reopened.?

The case relates to the recent unearthing of the common practice during Franco?s dictatorship, in which a network of nuns and medical professionals stole babies from poor families and passed them on to wealthy parents, who were unable to conceive.

Doctors would then falsify birth certificates to establish a ?bogus parentage?.

Around 1,500 cases of stolen babies have been reported in Spain, and Ms Madrigal?s case was the first to reach the Spanish courts.

Regarding her position, she has stated: ?What I would like is for him to tell the truth, so that those mothers can tell their children, ?I did not abandon you?, and for those children to know that they were not abandoned.?
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