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Shakira will be tried in Spain for tax evasion

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Sep 29 (BBC) – Colombian music star Shakira will go on trial in a Spanish court over €14.5m (£12.9m) tax evasion allegations.

A Barcelona court has ordered the singer to stand trial for six alleged tax offenses, although no date has yet been set.

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Spanish prosecutors want to jail the superstar for eight years and fine her 23.8 million euros if found guilty.

The 45-year-old has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

“I am convinced that I have enough evidence to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favor,” she said recently in an interview with the Spanish edition of Elle magazine.

Shakira’s legal team said in a statement that they would do their job “presenting [the] arguments at the appropriate time”.

She previously rejected a deal offered by prosecutors, opting instead for a trial.

At the center of this row is Shakira’s residency status between 2012 and 2014, when prosecutors alleged she lived in Spain but listed her official residence elsewhere.

Under Spanish law, people who spend more than six months in the country are considered residents for tax purposes. But Shakira says Spain was not where she mainly lived at the time.

In July, prosecutors released a document claiming she had bought a house in Barcelona in 2012, which became a family home for her and her then partner, Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique.

Her lawyers said that until 2014 most of her income came from international tours and that she spent long periods outside of Spain.

“The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started salivating. It’s clear that they wanted to get that money no matter what,” she told Elle magazine.

Shakira said Spain was her tax residence in 2015. She said she paid 17.2 million euros in taxes and had no outstanding debts.

In a separate case in 2019, Mr Pique was fined €2.1 million by Spain’s national court for tax evasion between 2008 and 2010.

The couple announced in early June that they had separated after 11 years. They have two sons together, aged seven and nine.

Her interview with Elle was the first time she spoke publicly about their split, telling the magazine she was going through “probably one of the most difficult and darkest hours of my life.”

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