Shakira will appear before a Barcelona court on the first day of her trial on charges of tax fraud in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — An international pop star Shakira He was summoned on Monday to a Barcelona court for the first day of his trial on charges of defrauding Spanish tax officials of millions of euros.

Shakira (46 years old) faces six charges Failure to pay The Spanish government paid 14.5 million euros (about 15.8 million dollars) in taxes between 2012 and 2014. The multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy winner has denied any wrongdoing and said she has paid everything she owes.

The case made headlines in 2018. It currently hinges on where Shakira lived during that time. Barcelona prosecutors claimed that the Colombian singer spent more than half of that period in Spain and therefore should have paid taxes on his global income in the country even though his official residence remains in the Bahamas. Tax rates are much lower in the Bahamas than in Spain.

Prosecutors said in July that they would seek a prison sentence of eight years and two months and a fine of 24 million euros ($26.1 million) for the singer who has won over audiences around the world thanks to his songs in Spanish and English in various musical genres.

Shakira’s public relations firm said she has already paid everything she owes plus an additional 3 million euros (about $3.2 million) in interest.

Shakira rejected a deal offered to her by prosecutors to settle her case in July 2022, saying through her Spanish public relations company, Llorente y Cuenca, that she “believes in her innocence and chooses to leave the case in the hands of the law.” Details of this potential deal have not been announced.

The trial will be presided over by a panel of three judges, led by Judge Jose Manuel del Amo. Shakira is supposed to be inside the courtroom by 10:00 AM

The trial is initially scheduled to end on December 14.

Shakira’s name was mentioned in the “Paradise Papers” leak, which detailed the offshore tax arrangements of several high-profile individuals, including music celebrities such as Madonna and U2’s Bono.

Shakira’s defense team, Barcelona firm Molins Defensa Benal, said in November 2022 that she did not spend more than 60 days a year inside the country during the period in question, adding that she needed to spend half the year inside. Spain is considered a financial resident. Her defense argued that she was away from Barcelona for long periods on a world tour in 2011 and then spent a lot of time in the United States as part of the judging panel of NBC’s music television talent show The Voice.

Spanish prosecutors disagree, and investigating judge Marco Goberias wrote in 2021 upon concluding a three-year investigation into the charges that he found there was “sufficient evidence of criminality” to take the case to trial. Shakira maintained her innocence when questioned by Goberias in 2019.

She lost an appeal to have the case thrown out last year.

Shakira established her financial residency in Spain in 2014 at the same time her eldest child was attending school in Barcelona, ​​according to her defense team, where she would have spent more time in the country with her family.

In Spain, the investigating judge conducts a preliminary investigation and decides whether to drop the case or refer it to trial. The court can waive prison sentences for first-time offenders if they are sentenced to less than two years in prison.

in Separate investigationProsecutors in Spain accused Shakira last September of allegedly evading a tax of 6.7 million euros on her 2018 income. They accused her of using an offshore company that relied on the tax haven to avoid paying the tax.

Spain has taken strict measures against football stars such as Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade for not paying their full tax dues. The former Barcelona and Real Madrid stars were convicted of evasion, but avoided prison sentences after their sentences were suspended.

Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has two children, Milan and Sasha, with Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique. The couple lived together in Barcelona before Ending their 11-year relationship last year. Since then, she has resided in Miami.

After all de Winning the Latin Grammy Awards At a concert in Seville on Thursday, Shakira thanked her fans in Spain for “being there for me in good times and bad.”

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