A Madrid court has let off a former doctor over stealing newborn babies from their mothers and supplying them to infertile couples.
The court found 85 year old gynaecologist Eduardo Vela had committed the crimes but could not legally be convicted because too much time had elapsed.
He was the first person to go on trial for illegal adoptions that took place during and after the fascist dictatorship of General Franco.
Thousands more cases are suspected.
After Franco's triumph in Spain's 1936‑1939 civil war, many children were removed from families identified by the fascist regime as left‑wing and given to families considered more deserving.
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