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Shakira due to go on trial in Spain over tax fraud claims

Shakira, the Latin Grammy-winning singer, is due in court in Barcelona on Monday on charges of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of €14.5m (£12.7m).

The 46-year-old Colombian musician, who lives in Miami with her two children, could face up to eight years in jail and a €24m fine if found guilty.

The case is based on the assertion that in the years 2012 to 2014 Shakira spent more than six months as a Spanish resident, thus making her liable for tax, a claim she denies.

In order to prove she was a Spanish resident, the prosecution has called 117 witnesses, among them hairdressers, studio technicians, dance teachers, therapists, beauticians, gynaecologists and her chauffeur.

The singer accuses the tax authorities of running a campaign to tarnish her image and to make an example of her to other Spanish taxpayers, while the prosecution claims she deliberately set out to defraud the exchequer by hiding her earnings in tax havens.

“These are false accusations,” Shakira said in an interview last year. “First of all, I didn’t spend 183 days per year at that time at all. I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world. Second, I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So, as of today I owe zero to them.

“The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It’s clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what. They knew I wasn’t in Spain the required time, that Spain wasn’t my place of work or my source of income, but they still came after me, with their eyes on the prize.”

credit the gaudian news

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