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STOLEN BABIES

Doctor in stolen babies scandal called to appear in Madrid court

Eduardo Vela implicated in 1969 illegal adoption of child at San Ramón hospital

Natalia Junquera

Eduardo Vela, the name that crops up most often in cases of Spain's stolen babies, has been summoned by a judge to testify on June 18. Vela is the former director of the San Ramón hospital in Madrid who worked closely with the late Sister María Gómez Valbuena, who was the first person to be officially implicated in the widespread scandal.

Some 1,500 cases of suspected stolen babies have been reported in Spain as part of scheme that spanned decades. Most have been shelved due to the time elapsed. Vela was named as a suspect after a police complaint filed by Inés Madrigal, who was presented to her adoptive mother as a "gift" from Vela in 1969. "Today is an important day for me and al the babies of San Ramón and the mothers who when they awoke from the anesthetic heard Vela say: "Put her under again." My adoptive mother's testimony has been crucial," said Madrigal.

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