Spanish prosecutors said Friday they would seek more than eight years in prison against global music superstar Shakira after she rejected a plea deal on charges of tax evasion
Prosecutors in Barcelona will also demand a fine of nearly 24 million euros (24.5 million dollars) from the 45-year-old “Hips don’t Lie” singer, who they charge with defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of 14.5 million euros. in earned income between 2012 and 2014.
Shakira, who has sold more than 60 million albums, rejected a plea deal on Wednesday, saying in a statement through her lawyers that she was “absolutely certain of her innocence” and had decided to take the case to court, “convinced” that her innocence would be proven.
A formal court referral has not yet been announced, nor has a trial date been set.
Lawyers for Shakira, one of the biggest names in the global music industry, say a deal remains possible until the start of a lawsuit.
Prosecutors say Shakira moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public but was an official tax resident of the Bahamas until 2015. The couple, who share two children, announced their separation in June.
On Wednesday, the star denounced the “complete violation of her rights” and “abusive methods” by the prosecutor’s office.
She claimed that prosecutors are “insistent on claiming money earned on my international tours and the show ‘The Voice'” in which she was a judge in the United States, while she was “not yet living in Spain”.
Shakira was featured in the singing competition between 2013 and 2014.
Her lawyers say she made most of her money through international tours until 2014, only moving to Spain full-time in 2015 and meeting all tax obligations.
She says she paid 17.2 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities and that she “has had no debt to the treasury for many years”.
A court in Barcelona rejected an appeal by the singer in May to drop the charges.
Shakira was named in one of the largest-ever leaks of financial documents in October 2021, known as the “Pandora Papers,” among public figures linked to offshore assets.
Blending Latin and Arabic rhythms and rock influences, three-time Grammy winner Shakira scored major worldwide hits with songs such as “Hips don’t Lie”, “Whenever, Wherever” and “Waka Waka”, the official song of the 2010 World Cup.
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