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Shakira opts to go to trial in Spain over alleged €14.5m tax fraud

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By Euronews  with AP
Shakira poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Elvis' at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, 25 May 2022
Shakira poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Elvis' at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, 25 May 2022   -   Copyright  Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Superstar singer Shakira has opted to be tried by Spanish prosecutors over allegations she defrauded Spain's government of nearly €15 million in taxes.

According to her lawyers, the 45-year-old Colombian rejected a plea deal offered by the Spanish authorities and wants to prove her innocence in court. 

Shakira “trusts her innocence and chooses to leave the issue in the hands of the law," her public relations firm Llorente y Cuenca said in a statement.

In 2018, Spanish prosecutors charged the pop sensation behind the famous hit Hips Don't Lie with failing to pay €14.5 million in taxes on income she earned between 2012 and 2014. 

She could be fined or sent to prison if found guilty of tax evasion.

Prosecutors have offered no further details about the deal, which remains on the table until the trial opens in Barcelona. 

Shakira’s public relations firm said she deposited the amount she is said to owe with the Spanish Tax Agency and has no pending tax debts.

The case hinges on where she lived between 2012-14. 

Prosecutors claim it was mostly in Spain even though Shakira's official residence was in the Bahamas.

Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has two children with Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique. The couple used to live together in Barcelona but recently ended their 11-year relationship.

Shakira, who has sold more than 60 million albums, separated from Pique in June. 

No date for the trial has been set.