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Shakira faces eight years in jail and £19million fine in Spanish tax fraud case
29 July 2022, 13:44 | Updated: 29 July 2022, 15:47
A Spanish prosecutor has asked to jail Shakira for eight years if she loses a €14.5m (£12.2m) tax fraud case.
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Authorities also want to fine her €23m (£19.3m) should she be found guilty.
Representatives for the superstar singer, who has rejected a settlement offer from prosecutors, say she is "fully confident of her innocence" and considers the case a "total violation of her rights".
A spokesman said: "Shakira has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully following the counsel of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm.
"Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office, which loses one out of every two lawsuits with its taxpayers, continues to violate her rights and pursue yet another baseless case.
"Shakira is confident that her innocence will be proven by the end of the judicial process."
Prosecutors allege Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, pretended to live abroad and used a complex offshore corporate structure to avoid tax.
The move comes after the Colombian-born mother-of-two rejected an out-of-court settlement that would have involved her admitting wrongdoing.
She has already repaid the money she allegedly owes the treasury, along with interest believed to total £3million.
The charges were contained in an indictment submitted by prosecutors to the investigating court near Barcelona, and made public for the first time today.
Prosecutors claim that the Hips Don't Lie singer was ordinarily resident in Spain between 2012 and 2014, Reuters reports.
She bought a home in Barcelona with her then-partner Gerard Pique, the football star, and son in 2012.
The 45-year-old, who has sold more than 80 million records around the world, says she had paid €17.2m (£14.4m) that Spanish tax officials said she owed them and does not owe them anything else.
Shakira and World Cup winner Pique announced last month that they were splitting up. They have two children together.
A statement from Shakira’s publicist said: "We regret to confirm that we are parting ways.
"For the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority, we ask that you respect their privacy."