The trial of global star Shakira, for tax fraud of nearly 14.5 million euros, opens on Monday in Barcelona where the prosecution is asking for a prison sentence of more than eight years against her.
• Read also: Shakira accused of another tax fraud in Spain
• Read also: Shakira thought it would be “life or death” with Gerard Piqué
The 46-year-old Colombian artist was summoned at 10am (9am GMT) by a court in the Catalan metropolis, where she lived for years with ex-footballer Gerard Piqué before their highly publicized split last year past
However, a last-minute deal with prosecutors remains possible – in which Shakira could admit her guilt and pay a hefty fine in exchange for the suspension of the trial.
Contacted by AFP, the defense for the “Waka Waka” or “Hips Don’t Lie” singer, who said last year that a trial was a “matter of principle” to defend his innocence, said no no agreement had been reached so far from the prosecution, but that this remained theoretically possible “until the last moment”.
The prosecution accuses Shakira of not having paid his taxes in Spain in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 when, according to him, he had lived in those years more than 183 days a year in the country, the threshold beyond which a person has to be considered a tax resident there.
He asked for a sentence of eight years and two months in prison and a fine of 23.8 million euros against him.
The singer categorically denies these accusations and her lawyers say that, although she began a relationship with Piqué in 2011, she continued to move around the world for her career.
Shakira claims she only settled permanently in Barcelona in late 2014, before moving her tax residence from the Bahamas to Spain in 2015, just before the birth of her second child.
“The tax authorities saw that I had a relationship with a Spanish citizen and I started salivating,” he said in an interview with ELLE magazine last year.
“I owe nothing” to the tax authorities “and I am sure that I have enough evidence to support my case and make sure that justice is in my favor,” said the singer, who has already paid 17.2 million euros to the tax authorities in this matter in order to regularize his situation.
This summer, the prosecution initiated another procedure against the singer, who moved to Miami with her children after their separation, for another tax fraud in 2018, estimated at six million euros.
That trial is normally expected to last until mid-December with about 120 witnesses.
To support the accusation, the prosecutors dissected the private life of the star, interrogating her neighbors, checking her accounts on social networks, controlling her expenses at the hairdressers in Barcelona or the clinic where they followed her in the city during her pregnancy. the 2012/2013 academic year.
“Unacceptable methods”, for Shakira’s lawyers, who saw how her name appeared in the “Pandora Papers”, a vast journalistic investigation published at the end of 2021 and which accused several hundred personalities of having hidden assets in offshore companies .
Regarding Latin pop music, Shakira has recently been in the spotlight for her difficult separation from Piqué, which she explains in the hit “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53”.
This collaboration with Argentina’s Bizarrap became a worldwide success that won the Latin Grammy for song of the year on Thursday and whose lyrics also refer to his “debt to the tax administration”.
“People on my team tried to convince me to change the letter, but I’m not a UN diplomat,” she said this week to the Spanish magazine ¡Hola!.
In addition to Shakira, many personalities have had problems with the Spanish Tax Administration in recent years such as footballers Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi, who were sentenced to prison terms of less than two years that they did not have to serve, because their backgrounds penalties were clean.
Piqué was convicted in 2016 of tax fraud in his image rights and ordered to repay more than 2.1 million euros to the Tax Administration.