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Shakira faces trial, could go to jail for ‘defrauding’ Spain of 14.5 mn euros

Prosecutors call for 8+ year jail term for singer in case of alleged tax evasion after she rejects plea deal. Shakira slams govt for 'complete violation of her rights'.

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New Delhi: Colombian pop singer Shakira, who is accused of defrauding the Spanish government of 14.5 million euros (Rs 117 crore), is reportedly facing a possible eight year jail term after she rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors Friday.

The Spanish prosecutors had first charged the “Waka Waka” singer in 2018 for failing to pay 14.5 million euros in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. If found guilty of tax evasion, she is also likely to face a fine of nearly 24 million euros (Rs 194 crore).

Her public relations firm Llorente & Cuenca maintains the singer had deposited the amount owed with the Spanish Tax Agency and has no pending debts. “(Shakira) trusts her innocence and chooses to leave the issue in the hands of the law,” the firm was quoted as saying.

No date has been set for the trial yet and no immediate details were available on the contents of the deal offered by the prosecutors.

The residence of the 45-year-old from 2012-14 is at the core of the case. Prosecutors allege that Shakira spent most of her time in Spain during the two years  after moving there in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public. The shift was made despite having an official residence/official tax residency in the Bahamas.

Shakira had slammed the authorities for “complete violation of her rights” and for their “abusive methods” through which they were “insisting on claiming money earned during my international tours”. Her defence team claimed until 2014, she earned most of her money from international tours and did not live more than six months a year in Spain and thus was not a resident under tax law.

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