Shakira strikes deal with Spanish prosecutors to avoid €14.5m tax fraud trial
Shakira, the famous singer from Colombia, has made an arrangement with the prosecutors to avoid going through a legal process in Barcelona. She was charged with not paying €14.5m (£12.7m) in Spanish income tax for the years 2012 to 2014.
As a component of the agreement, she agreed to acknowledge the expenses and pay a penalty equal to half of the outstanding balance, which amounted to over €7.3 million.
In the first hearing of the trial, the judge stated that she agreed to pay an additional fine of €438,000 in order to evade a three-year imprisonment sentence.
Shakira stated through her Spanish communication agency that her decision to settle the legal dispute was based on personal, emotional, and sentimental reasons. She admitted that she could have defended her innocence, but instead chose to prioritize her career and children. Shakira also expressed that winning the case was not worth losing precious years of her life.
Shakira, who is 46 years old, showed up at the courthouse with her legal team just before 10am (or 0900 GMT). Her arrival caused quite a commotion among the press.
"Are you aware of the details and agree with the recently imposed punishments?" inquired Judge Jose Manuel del Amo Sanchez. "Yes, I do," she replied.
Earlier, the vocalist, who is currently facing another inquiry regarding tax evasion in Spain, had pledged to battle against what she labeled as untrue charges.
The district attorney's office aimed to secure an incarceration period of a maximum of eight years and recover the taxes that they alleged she had yet to pay.
According to sources, Shakira has been accused of residing mostly in Spain during the years in question. It has been claimed that she spent more than half of her time in the country and was considered an ordinary resident there. It is also being said that a property she purchased in Barcelona back in May 2012 was utilized as a residence for her family.
Miriam Company, who is one of Shakira's lawyers, spoke to reporters outside the courthouse and said that the ruling was supposed to be based on the recognition of facts and conforming to the law. However, the decision seemed to have been influenced by personal matters. According to Company, the legal team initially believed that they could prove Shakira's innocence, but circumstances have since changed.
Shakira, who is 46 years old, cohabitated with former Barcelona and Spain footballer Gerard Piqué for 11 years and they share two children. Following their separation, the singer, whose complete name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, relocated to Miami.
The Spanish government has taken action against several high-profile individuals for failing to pay their taxes, including soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal, Lionel Messi from Argentina, and Diego Costa who holds dual citizenship in Spain and Brazil. All three paid significant fines to resolve their cases.
Xabi Alonso, who coaches Bayer Leverkusen, did not accept the allegations and, in the end, succeeded in a legal case against the tax authorities. The highest court in Spain recently confirmed his innocence.