The public prosecutor’s office in Barcelona (northeast Spain) announced on Friday that Colombian star Shakira will be sentenced to more than eight years in prison for tax evasion, as she rejected any plea deal and said she was ready for trial.
In its indictment, which AFP was able to consult, the prosecution indicates it will claim a fine of around 24 million euros from the singer, who is accused of evading 14.5 million euros to Spanish tax authorities between 2012 and 2014.
The conduct of the trial and its date must now be decided by the justice.
Shakira, who maintains her innocence, said Wednesday that she would refuse to take a deal with the prosecution and would prefer a trial to the indictment process.
According to his lawyers, the possibility of reaching an agreement remains open until the trial begins in court in Barcelona, but the 45-year-old star’s official dismissal has yet to be pronounced.
The singer, who denounced the “gross violation of her rights” and “abusive practices” by the prosecution, said in a press release Wednesday that she is “confident that justice will serve her cause.”
The Barcelona public prosecutor’s office accused the singer of the hits “Hips Don’t Lie”, “Waka Waka” or “Loca” of not declaring his income to the Spanish tax authorities in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
According to the prosecution, Shakira had been living in Spain since 2011, when her relationship with FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique was made public, but maintained her tax residence in the Bahamas, a tax haven, until 2015. They have two children, and announced their separation in June.
For their part, Shakira’s lawyers believe that until 2014 most of her income came from her international tours and that she did not live in Spain for more than six months a year, establishing her tax residence in the country.
The prosecution “stubbornly claimed the money collected during my international tours and in the United States during (the program) “The Voice”, during which “I am not yet a resident of Spain”, the singer denied in the press. A release sent by her lawyers on Wednesday.
Shakira also argued that she had already paid 17.2 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities, so she had “no debt to the treasury for many years”.
Shakira’s name was among those cited in the Pandora Papers, an extensive investigation published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in late 2021, which accused several hundred people of hiding assets in offshore companies, particularly for the purpose of ‘tax avoidance’.