Prosecutors in Spain announced Friday that they will seek a term of imprisonment of more than eight years for worldwide music diva Shakira after she declined a plea deal on tax evasion allegations.
Prosecutors in Barcelona will also seek punishment of about 24 million euros ($24.5 million) from the 45-year-old “Hips Don’t Lie” singer, accusing her of stealing 14.5 million euros from the Spanish tax office between 2012 and 2014.
Shakira, whose albums have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide, turned down a plea deal on Wednesday, saying in a statement released through her attorneys that she was “absolutely certain of her innocence” and had chosen to take the case to trial, “confident” that her innocence would be established. A trial date has not yet been established, nor has a formal submission to the court been published.
Up to the commencement of any trial, according to Shakira’s attorneys, one of the biggest names in the world of music. Shakira, according to the prosecution, relocated to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became well-known, yet she continued to file her taxes in the Bahamas until 2015. The two children that the couple had together announced their separation in June.
The actress criticised the prosecutor’s office on Wednesday for using “abusive techniques” and “completely violating her rights.”
She said that while she was “not yet resident in Spain,” prosecutors “insisted on demanding money earned during my foreign tours and the show ‘The Voice,'” on which she served as a judge in the United States. Her attorneys claim that up until 2014, she mostly made her money from overseas tours, only permanently relocated to Spain in 2015, and has complied with all tax requirements. She claims that she has paid 17.2 million euros in taxes to the Spanish government and that she hasn’t owed the Treasury anything in “many years.”
In May, a Barcelona judge denied the singer’s request to have the accusations dropped and the “Pandora Papers,” one of the biggest financial document breaches ever, which included public people connected to offshore assets, included Shakira in its list of names in October 2021.