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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Spain court orders Shakira to stand trial for 14 million euros tax fraud

A Spanish court has ordered Colombian music superstar Shakira to stand trial on charges of tax fraud to the tune of 14 million euros, with prosecutors seeking an eight-year sentence, filings showed on Tuesday.

Grammy-winning singer Shakira is one step closer to facing trial in Spain for alleged tax fraud against the Public Treasury of Spain, according to a resolution.

A judge in Barcelona ordered the case to move forward to trial, but a start date has not yet been set. Spanish prosecutors allege that Shakira failed to pay personal income and wealth tax between 2012-2014, currently valued in the amount of about $15.8 million, which she has denied.

Shakira called her accusations “false” in an interview with Elle magazine earlier this month, stating “I paid everything they said I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them.”

Read more: Shakira Says Losing Her Voice Was Her Life’s ‘Darkest Moment’

Spanish authorities allege she lived in Spain for over 183 days annually between 2011 and 2014, but Shakira denied that in her interview with Elle. Her attorneys have stated her primary residence during that time was in the Bahamas.

After a settlement could not be reached in the case in July, a spokesperson for Shakira said in a statement, “Shakira and her team consider that this case constitutes a total violation of her rights since she has always shown impeccable behavior, as a person and taxpayer, and a total willingness to resolve any disagreement from the beginning, even before the criminal process.

The 45-year-old has rejected a deal with authorities to avoid going on trial, with her representatives saying she has already paid all she owes and an extra three million euros (£2.6m) in interest.

Read more: Shakira denies plagiarism allegation in Spain court

Her spokesperson has said she is “confident that her innocence will be proven by the end of the judicial process”.

But if Shakira is found guilty of tax evasion, she could face an eight-year prison sentence and a 24 million euro (£20.2m) fine.

The date for the trial has yet to be set.