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Shakira To Stand Trial In Court Over Tax Fraud Case



Shakira To Stand Trial In Court Over Tax Fraud Case

Columbian music superstar, Shakira must stand trial in Spain on tax fraud charges, a judge ruled Tuesday, overturning an earlier dismissal of the case by prosecutors.

After she rejected a plea deal over accusations of tax evasion, according to prosecutors in Barcelona, they wanted to sentence the ex-girlfriend of Barcelona football star Gerard Pique for more than eight years and fine her nearly $24 million in July.

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Shakira has been alleged of defrauding the Spanish tax office of 14.5 million euros ($14.7 million) on income earned between 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutors say Shakira moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public but maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.

The 45-year-old singer and Pique announced their separation in June, they have two children together.

On September 19, a Barcelona court ordered the singer to stand trial for six tax crimes, according to a court ruling made public on Tuesday.

In an interview published in Elle magazine last week, Shakira said she was confident she had behaved correctly and did not owe the Spanish tax office anything.

“These accusations are false,” she said. “While Gerard and I were dating, I was on a world tour. I spent more than 240 days outside Spain, so there was no way I qualified as a resident,” she added.

“The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It’s clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what.”

Shakira’s lawyers have said that until 2014 she earned most of her money from international tours, moved to Spain full time only in 2015 and has met all her tax obligations.

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The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer says she has paid 17.2 million euros to Spanish tax authorities and has no outstanding debts.

She argues that Spanish prosecutors are trying to claim money she earned during her international tour and from her participation on the show “The Voice”.

She was a judge on the show in the United States when she says she was not yet resident in Spain. A Barcelona court in May dismissed an appeal from the singer to drop the charges.

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