Shakira faces 8 years in prison as she goes on trial in Spain for tax fraud

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LOS ANGELES, Nov 18, (Agencies): Colombian pop sensation Shakira is facing a high-profile trial in Barcelona for allegedly evading taxes amounting to 14.5 million euros. Just after her recent success at the Latin Grammys, the 46-year-old singer is accused of residing in Spain for over half the period between 2012 and 2014 without paying the necessary taxes. Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year, two-month jail term and a fine of nearly 24 million euros. Shakira, who now resides in Miami with her two sons, has denied wrongdoing, rejecting a plea deal and opting for the trial.


The case centers around Shakira’s official tax residency, as prosecutors claim she used companies based in tax havens to avoid paying taxes in Spain. Her lawyers argue that until 2014, she led a “nomadic life,” primarily earning from international tours and only permanently moved to Barcelona just before the birth of her second son in January 2015.

The trial, set to run until December 14, is expected to feature around 120 witnesses. While Shakira will testify during the opening session, she may seek permission to be absent from subsequent hearings. The proceedings are likely to reveal details of her private life, as Spanish prosecutors meticulously investigated her activities, including interviews with neighbors, tracking her social media images, and checking her payments at various establishments.

Questions about Shakira’s finances have surfaced before, as she was named in the 2021 “Pandora Papers” leaks, linking her to wealth and tax strategies related to her residence in the Bahamas.

The trial follows Shakira’s significant night at the Latin Grammy Awards, where she performed twice and won three awards, including Song of the Year and Best Pop Song for her collaboration with Argentine DJ Bizarrap. The track, “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” takes swipes at her former partner Gerard Pique, referencing a “debt to the tax office.” Despite being advised to change the lyrics, Shakira, in an interview with Hola! magazine asserted her identity as an artist and woman. The Latin Grammys also featured her rendition of the ballad “Acróstico,” wearing a glittering gold gown adorned with an image of the Virgin Mary, with her two sons appearing in a pre-recorded video to join her in singing the song.

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