Pop star Shakira to face trial over tax fraud in Spain

Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year prison sentence and a fine if Shakira is found guilty of tax evasion.
Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year prison sentence and a fine if Shakira is found guilty of tax evasion.   -   Copyright  Daniel Cole/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
By David Mouriquand  with AP

As previously reported, Shakira has found herself in a sizeable pickle with the law.

Now, a Spanish judge has approved a trial for Colombian pop singer Shakira on charges of tax fraud.

Spanish prosecutors accused the entertainer, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, in 2018 of failing to pay €14.5 million in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year prison sentence and a hefty fine if she is found guilty of tax evasion.

Shakira, 45, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and rejected a deal with authorities to avoid going to trial. Her public relations firm has said that she has already paid all that she owed and an additional €3 million in interest.

The court based in the town of Esplugues de Llobregat near Barcelona said that Shakira will face six counts of tax fraud.

The date for the trial has yet to be set.

The case hinges on where Shakira lived between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged the Grammy winner spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas.

Shakira has been linked to Spain since she started dating FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué. The couple, who have two children, used to live together in Barcelona but recently ended their 11-year relationship.

Spain has cracked down on soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade for not paying their full due in taxes. They were found guilty of evasion but both avoided prison time thanks to a provision that allows a judge to waive sentences under two years in length for first-time offenders.