Spanish prosecutors said on Friday they would seek to sentence global music superstar Shakira to more than eight years in prison after she rejected a plea deal on tax evasion charges.
Prosecutors in Barcelona will also ask the 45-year-old to pay a fine of almost 24 million euros ($24.5 million) = (approximately R405 million) hips don’t lie They accused her of defrauding the Spanish tax agency of 14.5 million euros from her earnings between 2012 and 2014.
Shakira, who has sold more than 60 million albums, rejected a plea deal on Wednesday and said in a statement through her lawyer that she was “absolutely convinced of her innocence” and decided to take the case to court,” Believe” her innocence will be proven.
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‘Shakira’ faces 8 years in prison for tax fraud
A formal transfer to the court has not been announced and no trial date has been set.
Shakira, one of the biggest names in the global music industry, said a deal was still possible before any trial began.
Prosecutors said Shakira moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public, but remained an official tax resident in the Bahamas until 2015. The couple, who have two children, announced their separation in June.
On Wednesday, the star slammed the prosecutor’s office for “complete violation of her rights” and “abuse of methods.”
She claimed that when she “was not yet living in Spain”, prosecutors “insisted on the money I made during my international tour and her show ‘The Voice’ as a judge in the US”.
Shakira participated in the singing competition show between 2013 and 2014.
Until 2014, she made most of her income from international travel, only moving to Spain full-time in 2015, and having met all tax obligations, her lawyer said.
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She said she had paid 17.2 million euros to Spanish tax authorities and that she had “no debt to the Treasury for many years”.
In May, a Barcelona court rejected the singer’s appeal to have the charges dropped.
Among the public figures associated with offshore assets, Shakira was named in one of the largest leaks of financial documents ever known as the “Pandora Papers” in October 2021.
Three-time Grammy winner Shakira has won global hits with her fusion of Latin and Arabic beats and rock influences such as hips don’t lie, Anywhere, anytime and waka wakathe official song of the 2010 World Cup.