A WOMAN is to be jailed after the nun who allegedly helped steal her from her parents as a baby sued for defamation.
Ascensión López, 53, was found guilty in 2015 of slandering the nun she says acted as a go-between in her sale from a hospital to her adoptive parents in Almería in 1964.
López told The Telegraph that she is unemployed, suffers from a bone-wasting disease and is too poor to pay a €3,000 fine, plus costs and €40,000 in damages to Sister Dolores Baena.
Almeria court will give her five-month sentence if she does not pay.
López’s plea for a pardon was turned down last week, despite being backed by a 90,000-strong petition.
“That it should be me, a victim, who will be the first person to go to jail in this scandal makes me indignant and incredibly frustrated,” López said.
“I am being treated for depression and my health has worsened since all this started, so I can’t think that prison will suit me very well. And what am I being punished for? Just because I want to find out my mother’s identity?”
Lopez believes she was one of tens of thousands of babies who were adopted illegally in Spain during the Franco era.
Some 2,000 women have told Spanish prosecutors that their children were stolen, often passed off as dead in suspicious circumstances.
Lopez’s alleged adopted father was a senior figure in Franco’s regime.
His marriage was childless and Lopez believes he bought her for 250,000 pesetas in 1964.
Lopez claims he made the purchase through his niece, Sister Dolores, who was working in a Sevilla hospital.
López accused Dolores of ‘organising’ her illegal adoption, leading the nun to sue her for defamation.
No one has yet stood trial for their role in stealing a child or falsifying documents.
Inés Madrigal, a campaigner who was also adopted illegally, told The Telegraph that Lopez was being made a ‘scapegoat’.
“All of us who are campaigning for justice feel that this is a warning to us.”
Meanwhile British MEP Jude Kirton-Darling, is compiling a report with recommendations that will soon be approved by the European Parliament.
“Spain has left victims to mount their own investigations over decades with no legal or psychological support, and these people are at their wits’ end,” Kirton-Darling said.
Among the measures being proposed will be a DNA bank allowing potential victims to provide samples for free and cross-reference results to seek lost relatives.
“Spain must bolster victim support,” Kirton-Darling said