Shakira strikes deal to avoid trial in pound 14.5m Spanish tax fraud case

Colombian superstar Shakira, has reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors, to avoid a trial on tax evasion.

The global pop icon, known for hits like ‘Waka Waka’ and ‘Hips Don’t Lie,’ appeared in person before the district court in Barcelona on Monday, in what was supposed to be the first of a 12-day trial.

After long maintaining her innocence, she admitted to the presiding judge of having defrauded Spanish tax authorities of a total of pound 14.5 million ($15.8 million), between 2012 and 2014.

With the admission of guilt on multiple counts, Shakira averted not only the spectacle of a trial, but also a potential prison sentence. Before the trial, the Spanish public prosecutor’s office had demanded a sentence of eight years and two months.

The 46-year-old will have to pay a fine of several million euros, in addition to the back taxes she has already paid. Further details of the deal have yet to be publicly announced.

Before Monday, the musician maintained that she was a resident of the Bahamas between 2012
and 2014. She said she had only made visits to her then partner, football star Gerard Piqué, in Spain. The couple, who have two children, have since separated.

In statement issued to Britain’s Press Association news agency, Shakira said she was ready to ‘move past the stress and emotional toll’ of the case.

‘Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others,’ she said.

‘That often means taking the extra step in business and personal financial decisions, to procure the absolute best counsel … Unfortunately, and despite these efforts, tax authorities in Spain pursued a case against me as they have, against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people’s energy, time and tranquillity for years at a time.’

‘While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favour, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart
, who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight.’

She continued: ‘I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love: my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career, including my upcoming world tour and my new album, both of which I am extremely excited about.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

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