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Shakira wants day in Spanish court, rejects plea deal

Spanish pop star Shakira. COURTESY PHOTO

Colombian superstar Shakira rejected a plea deal on Spanish tax fraud charges and wants to prove her innocence in court, her lawyers said Wednesday.

Prosecutors accuse the 45-year-old “Hips don’t Lie” songstress of defrauding the Spanish tax office out of 14.5 million euros ($14.7 million) on income earned between 2012 and 2014.

They say she 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.

Her lawyers said Wednesday that the possibility to reach an agreement remained until a trial opens in a Barcelona court.

A formal referral to court has not yet been announced.

Shakira is “absolutely certain of her innocence” and “doesn’t accept this deal” with the prosecutor and has decided to let the case go to court, her lawyers said in a statement.

They added Shakira was “confident” her innocence would be proven in court.

The prosecutor did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

In the statement, Shakira slammed the “complete violation of her rights” and “abusive methods” by the prosecutor.

She also claimed the prosecutor was “insisting on claiming money earned during my international tours and the show ‘The Voice'” on which she was a judge in the United States, when she was “not yet resident in Spain”.

Shakira was on the singing competition show between 2013 and 2014.

Shakira’s defence team argues she moved to Spain full time only in 2015 and has met all tax obligations.

She says she has paid 17.2 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities and she has “no debt to the treasury for many years”.

They say that until 2014 she earned most of her money from international tours, did not live more than six months a year in Spain and was therefore not resident under tax law.

This file photo taken on September 4, 2019 shows Spanish football player Gerard Pique and Colombian singer Shakira. The couple said on June 4, 2022 they were calling time on their relationship of more than a decade. PHOTO / AFP

A Barcelona court in May dismissed an appeal from the singer to drop the charges.

Shakira had also been named in one of the largest ever leaks of financial documents in October 2021, known as the “Pandora Papers”, among public figures linked to offshore assets.

Shakira, who has sold over 60 million albums, separated from Pique in June. The couple have two children.

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