Colombian music artist Shakira, often hailed as the “Queen of Latin Pop,” is poised to face trial in Barcelona as Spanish prosecutors pursue a tax fraud case against her.
Spanish prosecutors are aiming for a jail term exceeding eight years for the 46-year-old singer, accusing her of defrauding the Spanish state of €14.5 million ($15.7 million) in income earned from 2012 to 2014.
Shakira denies these charges, asserting that she only became a full-time resident in Spain in 2015.
Authorities in Spain allege that Shakira spent more than half of the mentioned period in the country and should have paid taxes there.
They claim she utilized a network of companies in tax havens to evade paying taxes in Spain.
The defense contends that until 2014, Shakira led a “nomadic life,” primarily earning income from international tours.
They argue that she permanently moved to Barcelona just before the birth of her second son in January 2015.
In a 2022 interview with Elle magazine, Shakira stated, “I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So, as of today, I owe zero to them.”
Shakira’s trial, which began today in a Barcelona court and is scheduled until December 14, will feature testimony from nearly 120 witnesses.
The prosecution is seeking an eight-year and two-month jail term along with a fine of nearly €24 million ($24 million) for the singer.
While Shakira is expected to testify during the opening session, she may request permission to be absent from subsequent hearings.
The trial is anticipated to unveil details of Shakira’s private life, with Spanish prosecutors conducting a thorough investigation, including interviews with neighbors, scrutiny of social media activity, and examination of payments at local establishments.
This legal scrutiny comes after details related to Shakira’s residence in the Bahamas were disclosed in the “Pandora Papers” leak in October 2021.