A Spanish court has ruled that a doctor stole a newborn child nearly five decades ago, one of many abducted during Spain’s 20th-century dictatorship.
But the court cleared Eduardo Vela because the statute of limitations had expired.
The Madrid court said the 85-year-old former gynaecologist Eduardo Vela could not be punished because the accuser, Ines Madrigal, did not make her complaint until 2012.
The court did find, however, that Vela was responsible for abducting Madrigal in 1969, faking her birth by her adoptive parents and forging official documents.
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 General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship that followed.
Vela, who was the director of a Madrid clinic considered at the epicentre of the scandal, denied the accusations during this year’s trial.