Shakira faces a court in Spain over £12m tax fraud charges

Shakira faces trial in Spain over £12million tax fraud, with the Colombian pop star facing EIGHT YEARS in prison if convicted

  • Pop star Shakira has said she faces eight years in prison for alleged £12million fraud
  • She is accused of tax evasion between 2012 and 2014 while living in Barcelona
  • The Spanish judge has ordered her to appear in court, although no trial date has been set

Shakira (pictured in Mexico this week) faces up to eight years in prison in Spain for allegedly evading £12million in taxes between 2012 and 2014

A Spanish judge has told pop star Shakira she will face trial over an alleged €14.5million (£12.9million) tax evasion.

The 45-year-old, whose split from Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique made headlines earlier this year, was first warned in July that she could be jailed for up to eight years after being charged with six counts of tax fraud.

But today it emerged that a judge at a pre-trial court in Esplugues de Llobregat, near Barcelona, ​​has officially sentenced the singer to appear before the court in a ruling that brings his long-running criminal investigation to a close and the Colombian pop star will take a stand court.

The decision follows the mother-of-two’s confirmation that she had turned down an out-of-court deal she was believed to have admitted to wrongdoing after she was accused of defrauding the Spanish treasury over a three-year period between 2012 and 2014.

She has already paid the six-figure sum that the Spanish tax official claims he cheated on her, along with interest that is believed to total 3 million euros (£2.67 million).

But prosecutors want Shakira to receive an eight-year sentence if found guilty at trial.

A date for the trial has not yet been set, but is expected to take place in the coming months.

Colombian singer Shakira poses at the 75th Cannes Film Festival - screening of the film "elvis" Out of Competition – Cannes, France, May 25, 2022

Colombian singer Shakira poses at the 75th Cannes Film Festival – Screening of the film “Elvis” out of competition – Cannes, France, May 25, 2022

The prosecutor’s indictment was filed earlier this year with the Esplugues de Llobregat Court of Instruction Number Two, which has been investigating the singer.

Shakira – full name Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll – is accused of pretending to live abroad and using an existing complex offshore corporate structure to avoid her tax obligations from 2012-14, despite breaking a relationship with the former Man United defender in 2011 , Pique, and moved to Barcelona .

The artist, previously a tax resident in the Bahamas, was only registered as a full tax resident in Spain in 2015.

Official residents of Spain pay Spanish taxes on their worldwide income.

Persons who have spent more than 183 days in Spain in a given calendar year are considered Spanish residents for tax purposes.

Tax inspectors spent more than a year checking Shakira, even visiting her favorite hair salon in Barcelona and checking her social media to show she had spent most of the three years in dispute in Spain.

They concluded that she had spent 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in the country in 2014.

The report, which prosecutors filed with her criminal complaint, claimed the time she spent outside Spain was “sporadic absences” related to work commitments.

Shakira has denied any wrongdoing.

Her PR firm Llorente y Cuenca, meanwhile, said in a statement after she was formally charged: “She believes in her innocence and has decided to put the matter in the hands of the law.”

The alleged cheating took place around the time Shakira moved to Barcelona to live with her partner Gerard Pique, who plays soccer in the city

The alleged cheating took place around the time Shakira moved to Barcelona to live with her partner Gerard Pique, who plays football in the city

The singer recently broke her silence following her split from footballer Gerard Pique in an interview with Elle magazine, saying music is like her

The singer recently broke her silence following her split from footballer Gerard Pique in an interview with Elle magazine, saying music is like her “therapy” during her “darkest hours”.

The singer and Gerard Pique announced they had split in May after 11 years together amid unconfirmed reports that the footballer had cheated on the Colombian.

He now has a new girlfriend – a 23-year-old Shakira look-alike named Clara Chia.

The former couple reportedly spent the last few months negotiating the future of their two children as Shakira plans to move to Miami with them.

The singer recently broke her silence following their split in an interview with Elle magazine, saying music is like her “therapy” during her “darkest hours”.

When asked how she’s coped with not being “dating” with Pique, who she met in 2010, she said, “I think those details are kind of too private to share, at least on this one.” Wait – everything is so raw and new.

“All I can say is that I put everything I had into this relationship and my family.”

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Emma Colton

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