Spanish prosecutors said on Friday they would seek more than eight years in prison against world music star Shakira, after she rejected a plea deal over tax evasion charges.
Barcelona prosecutors will also demand a fine of nearly 24 million euros ($24.5 million) from the 45-year-old singer Hipes Don’t Lie, whom they accuse of defrauding Spain’s tax office out of 14.5 million euros on earned income. between 2012 and 2014.
Shakira, who has sold more than 60 million albums, rejected the plea deal on Wednesday, saying in a statement through her lawyer that she was “absolutely certain of her innocence” and decided to leave the case in court, “confident” that her innocence would be proven.
An official referral to the court has not yet been announced, and a trial date has not been set.
Lawyers for Shakira, one of the biggest names in the global music industry, say the agreement remains possible until any trial begins.
Prosecutors say Shakira moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public but she maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015. The couple, who share two children, announced their separation in June.
On Wednesday, the star criticized the “complete violation of her rights” and “arbitrary methods” carried out by the prosecution.
She alleged that the plaintiffs were “insistent on claiming the money I made during my international tours and The Voice program for which she was a judge in the United States, when she was “not yet a resident of Spain”.
Shakira participated in the singing competition between 2013 and 2014.
Her lawyers say that until 2014 she was making most of her money from international trips, only moved to Spain full-time in 2015, and she’s fulfilled all her tax obligations.
She says she has paid 17.2 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities and has “no debts to the Treasury for many years”.
In May, a Barcelona court dismissed the singer’s appeal to drop the charges.
Shakira was named in one of the biggest ever leaks of financial documents in October 2021, known as “Pandora’s Papers”, among public figures linked to offshore assets.
With her blend of Latin and Arabic rhythms and rock influence, three-time winner Shakira achieved international success with songs such as “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka”, the band’s official song. 2010 World Cup.
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