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Doctor stands trial over stolen baby case in Madrid

Doctor stands trial over stolen baby case in Madrid
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By Louise Miner with Reuters
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An elderly gynaecologist, accused of abducting a baby in 1969 and giving her to another woman, went on trial Tuesday in Madrid. Activists protested outside the court demanding the re-opening of other cases dating back to the 1976-1983 rule of dictator Franco

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An elderly gynaecologist, accused of abducting a baby in 1969 and giving her to another woman, went on trial Tuesday in Madrid.

Activists protested outside the court demanding the re-opening of other cases dating back to the 1939-1975 rule of dictator Francisco Franco.

Doctor Eduardo Vela is accused of falsifying documents, abduction of a child under seven years of age and staging a birth while he worked at the San Ramon hospital in Madrid.

He has denied any wrong-doing.

The prosecution asked the 85-year-old: "Do you remember, what was the protocol to follow when a woman was admitted to the clinic to give birth?"

Vela replied: "I did not know anything apart from medical matters. I didn't know."

Bringing the charge is Ines Madrigal, a 49-year-old woman who accuses Vela of forging her 1969 birth certificate to show her adopted mother as her biological parent.

Campaigners say officials took babies from mothers they deemed "unsuitable" - often communists or leftists - and gave them to families connected to the regime.

_This article has been amended to correct the date of Franco's rule. _

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