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Corruption trial for Spain's Princess Cristina draws to a close

Princess Cristina's lawyers have given the concluding arguments in her trial involving alleged embezzlement. A union has asked for an eight-year sentence for the princess.

The princess's lawyers argued in Palma de Mallorca on Wednesday that she should be acquitted because the prosecution failed to prove that she was guilty of tax fraud and corruption.

Princess Cristina de Borbon has been standing trial since February for a case that also involves 16 others, including her husband, former professional handball player Inaki Urdangarin. The Manos Limpias ("Clean Hands") trade union initiated the charges, accusing the group of embezzling 6 million euros ($6.6 million) in public funds.

Manos Limpias, which appeared as a plaintiff in the trial, said that some of that money went to a company co-owned by the 51-year-old sister of King Felipe VI. That company, a charitable organization called the Noos Institute, was founded and chaired by Urdangarin from 2004 to 2006. Now, the princess's lawyers are arguing the union should itself be punished for abusing plaintiff's rights.

Cristina stays silent

Although lawyers for Urdangarin, Princess Cristina's husband, said he had not acted against the law, the former athlete has put aside more than one million euros for damages.

Princess Cristina has denied knowledge of the illegal activities at the center of the case, insisting her husband took care of all the financial dealings. When she took the stand in March, she

refused to answer questions

from the prosecution.

She's the first member of Spain's royal family to be put on trial since the country's transition to democracy in 1975. Following the start of the trial, King Felipe

stripped the couple, the former Duchess and Duke of Palma, of their titles

and ordered palace accounts to be audited.

blc/kl (AP, dpa)

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