Colombian music superstar, Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been ordered by a Spanish court to stand trial in a tax fraud case at a date yet to be determined by the court.
Prosecutors in Barcelona had said in July 2022, that they would seek a prison sentence of more than eight years against the singer and a fine of nearly 24 million euros ($24 million) after she rejected a plea deal over accusations of tax evasion.
They accused the 45-year-old “Hips don’t Lie” songstress of defrauding the Spanish tax office of 14.5 million euros ($14.7 million) on income earned between 2012 and 2014.
According to reports, Shakira moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public but maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.
On September 19, 2022, a Barcelona court ordered the singer to stand trial for six tax crimes, according to a court ruling.
In an interview in Elle magazine, Shakira said she was confident she had behaved correctly and did not owe the Spanish tax office anything.
“These accusations are false. While Gerard and I were dating, I was on a world tour. I spent more than 240 days outside Spain, so there was no way I qualified as a resident. The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It’s clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what”. she said.
Shakira’s lawyers have said that until 2014 she earned most of her money from international tours, moved to Spain full time only in 2015 and has met all her tax obligations.
According to the singer, she has paid 17.2 million euros to Spanish tax authorities and has no outstanding debts.
She argues Spanish prosecutors are trying to claim money she earned during her international tour and from her participation on the show “The Voice”. She was a judge on the show in the United States when she says, she was not yet resident in Spain.
A Barcelona court had in May 2022, dismissed an appeal from the singer to drop the charges brought against her.
With her mix of Latin and Arabic rhythms and rock influence, three-time Grammy winner Shakira scored major global hits with songs such as “Hips don’t Lie”, “Whenever, Wherever” and “Waka Waka”, the official song of the 2010 World Cup.
Shakira, has been linked to Spain since she started dating soccer player Gerard Pique. The couple, who have two children, used to live together in Barcelona but recently ended their 11-year relationship.
Story : Hilda Katu
Media: @Shakira/ Instagram,