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Trial of doctor, 85, puts Spain in dock over ‘stolen babies’

Trial of doctor, 85, puts Spain in dock over ‘stolen babies’

An 85-year-old doctor accused of abducting a newborn girl from her mother almost half a century ago will appear in court in Madrid this week, becoming the first person to stand trial over Spain’s long and infamous .

Thousands of families are thought to have been caught up in the illegal practice, which began shortly after the end of the Spanish civil war and continued until well after the death of the dictator, Francisco Franco, in 1975.

Some estimates suggested that as many as 300,000 babies may have been taken from their birth mothers and placed with other families who supported the Franco regime. Among those women targeted were single mothers, those with “degenerate” political views or those from poor backgrounds.