BARCELONA, Spain — International pop star Shakira has been summoned Monday to a Barcelona courthouse to attend the primary day of her trial for allegedly defrauding Spanish tax officers of hundreds of thousands of euros.
Shakira, 46, faces six counts of failing to pay the Spanish authorities 14.5 million euros (about $15.8 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014. The a number of Grammy and Latin Grammy winner has denied any wrongdoing and mentioned she had paid all the pieces she owed.
The case made headlines in 2018. It presently hinges on the place Shakira lived throughout that interval. Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged that the Colombian singer spent greater than half of that interval in Spain and subsequently ought to have paid taxes on her worldwide earnings within the nation regardless that her official residence was nonetheless within the Bahamas. Tax charges are a lot decrease within the Bahamas than in Spain.
Prosecutors mentioned in July that they’d search a jail sentence of 8 years and two months and a advantageous of 24 million euros ($26.1 million) for the singer who has gained over followers worldwide for her hits in Spanish and English in numerous musical genres.
Shakira’s public relations agency mentioned that she had already paid all that she owed and a further 3 million euros (about $3.2 million) in curiosity.
Shakira turned down a deal provided to her by prosecutors to settle her case in July 2022, saying, through her Spanish public relations agency Llorente y Cuenca, that she “believes in her innocence and chooses to depart the difficulty within the arms of the regulation.” The main points of that potential deal weren’t made public.
A 3-judge panel, led by Justice of the Peace José Manuel del Amo, will preside over the trial. Shakira is meant to be contained in the courtroom by 10:00 a.m.
The trial is initially scheduled to conclude on Dec. 14.
Shakira was named within the “Paradise Papers” leaks that detailed the offshore tax preparations of quite a few high-profile people, together with musical celebrities like Madonna and U2’s Bono.
The protection group for Shakira, the Barcelona agency Molins Defensa Penal, mentioned in Nov. 2022 that she had not spent greater than 60 days a 12 months contained in the nation throughout the interval in query, including she would have wanted to have spent half the 12 months inside Spain to be thought-about a fiscal resident. Her protection argued that she was away from Barcelona for lengthy stretches on a world tour in 2011 after which spent a whole lot of time in the USA as a part of a jury for the NBC tv music expertise present The Voice.
Spanish prosecutors disagree, and the investigating decide Marco Juberías wrote in 2021 on the conclusion of the three-year probe into the costs that he discovered there existed “adequate proof of criminality” for the case to go to trial. Shakira defended her innocence when she was questioned by Juberías in 2019.
She misplaced an attraction to have the case thrown out final 12 months.
Shakira established her fiscal residency in Spain in 2014 on the identical time her oldest youngster was enrolled in class in Barcelona, in response to her protection group, as she was going to spend extra time within the nation along with her household.
In Spain, an investigative decide carries out an preliminary probe and decides both to throw the case out or ship it to trial. A court docket can waive jail time for first-time offenders if they’re sentenced to lower than two years behind bars.
In a separate investigation, Spanish state prosecutors charged Shakira in September for her alleged evasion of 6.7 million euros in tax on her 2018 earnings. They accused her of utilizing an offshore firm based mostly in a tax haven to keep away from paying the tax.
Spain has cracked down on soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the previous decade for not paying their full due in taxes. The previous Barcelona and Actual Madrid stars had been discovered responsible of evasion however each averted jail time after their sentences had been suspended.
Shakira, whose full identify is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has two kids, Milan and Sasha, with Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique. The couple lived collectively in Barcelona earlier than ending their 11-year relationship final 12 months. Since then, she resided in Miami.
After triumphing on the Latin Grammy Awards gala in Seville on Thursday, Shakira thanked her followers in Spain for “being with me within the good instances and the dangerous.”