Pop star Shakira seems in courtroom as her tax fraud trial begins in Spain

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BARCELONA (Spain) – Worldwide pop star Shakira arrived at a Barcelona courtroom on Monday to attend the primary day of her trial on prices of defrauding Spanish tax officers of thousands and thousands of euros.

Shakira, 46, faces six prices of failing to pay taxes to the Spanish authorities value 14.5 million euros (about 15.8 million {dollars}) between 2012 and 2014. The a number of Grammy and Latin Grammy winner has denied any wrongdoing and mentioned she has paid every thing she owes.

The case depends upon the place Shakira lived throughout that interval. Barcelona prosecutors claimed that the Colombian singer spent greater than half of that interval in Spain and due to this fact ought to have paid taxes on her world earnings within the nation although her official residence stays within the Bahamas. Tax charges are a lot decrease within the Bahamas than in Spain.

Prosecutors mentioned in July that they’d search an eight-year and two-month jail sentence and a positive of 24 million euros ($26.1 million) for the singer, who has received over audiences world wide due to her songs in Spanish and English in varied musical genres.

Shakira arrives at courtroom in Barcelona, ​​Spain, on Monday for the opening day of her trial.Emilio Morenatti/AP

Shakira’s public relations agency mentioned she has already paid every thing she owes plus an extra 3 million euros (about $3.2 million) in curiosity.

She waved and blew a kiss to a small crowd of bystanders earlier than coming into the courtroom.

Shakira rejected a deal supplied to her by prosecutors to settle her case in July 2022, saying by means of her Spanish public relations firm, Llorente y Cuenca, that she “believes in her innocence and chooses to depart the case within the arms of the regulation.” Particulars of this potential deal haven’t been introduced.

The trial shall be presided over by a panel of three judges, led by Decide Jose Manuel del Amo.

The trial is initially scheduled to finish on December 14.

Shakira’s title was talked about within the “Paradise Papers” leak, which detailed the offshore tax preparations of a number of high-profile people, together with music celebrities corresponding to Madonna and U2’s Bono.

Shakira’s protection crew, Barcelona’s Molins Defensa Benal, mentioned in November 2022 that she spent not more than 60 days a 12 months contained in the nation through the interval in query, including that she would have wanted to spend half the 12 months in Spain. To be thought of a monetary resident. Her protection argued that she was away from Barcelona for lengthy intervals on a world tour in 2011 after which spent lots of time in the USA as a part of the judging panel of NBC’s music tv expertise present The Voice.

Spanish prosecutors disagree, and the investigating choose, Marco Goberias, wrote in 2021, upon the conclusion of a three-year investigation into the fees, that he discovered there was “ample proof of criminality” to take the case to trial. Shakira maintained her innocence when questioned by Goberias in 2019.

She misplaced an enchantment to have the case thrown out final 12 months.

Shakira established her monetary residency in Spain in 2014 on the similar time her eldest baby was attending college in Barcelona, ​​based on her protection crew, the place she would have spent extra time within the nation together with her household.

In Spain, the investigating choose conducts a preliminary investigation and decides whether or not to drop the case or refer it to trial. The courtroom can waive jail sentences for first-time offenders if they’re sentenced to lower than two years in jail.

In a separate investigation, prosecutors in Spain accused Shakira final September of allegedly evading a tax of 6.7 million euros on her 2018 earnings. They accused her of utilizing an offshore firm primarily based in a tax haven to keep away from paying the tax.

Spain has cracked down on soccer stars corresponding to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the previous decade for not paying their full tax dues. The previous Barcelona and Actual Madrid stars had been convicted of evasion, however prevented jail sentences after their sentences had been suspended.

Shakira, whose full title is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has two youngsters, Milan and Sasha, with Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique. The couple lived collectively in Barcelona earlier than ending their 11-year relationship final 12 months. Since then, she has resided in Miami.

After her win on the Latin Grammy Awards in Seville on Thursday, Shakira thanked her followers in Spain for “being there for me within the good instances and the dangerous instances.”

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