Pop star Shakira agreed to a deal with Spanish authorities on the first day of a tax fraud trial in Barcelona on Monday, avoiding the risk of a prison sentence.
Shakira told the presiding magistrate, José Manuel del Amo, that she accepted the agreement reached with prosecutors. She answered “yes” to confirm her acknowledgement of six counts of failing to pay the Spanish government 14.5 million euros (about $15.8 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014.
Under the deal, Shakira is to receive a suspended three-year sentence and a fine of 7 million euros ($7.6 million).
The trial, which would have included more than 100 witnesses over the following weeks, was instead called off after just eight minutesaches a deal with Spanish prosecutors on the first day of tax fraud trial
The trial, which would have included more than 100 witnesses over the following weeks, was instead called off after just eight minutes.
Prosecutors said in July that they would seek a prison sentence of eight years and two months and a fine of 24 million euros ($26 million) for the singer, who has won over fans worldwide for her hits in Spanish and English in different musical genres.
The case hinged on where Shakira, now 46, lived during that period. Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged that the Colombian singer spent more than half of that period in Spain and therefore should have paid taxes on her worldwide income in the country even though her official residence was still in the Bahamas. Tax rates are much lower in the Bahamas than in Spain.
“This has been a difficult decision that took time to reach, a tough decision that is motivated by her desire to focus on raising of her children and her professional career,” defense lawyer Miriam Company told reporters. “Her legal team had prepared the trial and were convinced we could demonstrate her innocence, but the circumstances changed and (Shakira) opted to accept the deal.”
The multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy winner waved and blew a kiss to a small crowd of bystanders before entering the courthouse. She briefly sat in front of the panel of judges, flanked by teams of prosecutors on one side and the defense on the other.
( Source AP)