A Spanish judge has ordered pop star Shakira to stand trial for allegedly failing to pay $13.9 million in taxes on income that she earned between 2012 and 2014.
Prosecutors will seek an eight-year prison sentence and a stiff fine if they manage to win a conviction for the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer, who has denied any wrongdoing.
The 45-year-old performer has insisted that she only lived less than half of the time in Spain during the two-year period. She has rejected a plea agreement with prosecutors that would have spared her a trial.
Her public relations firm has said that she has already paid all that she owed and an additional 3 million euros — or $2.8 million — in interest.
The court based in the town of Esplugues de Llobregat near Barcelona said that Shakira will face six counts of tax fraud.
The date for the trial has yet to be set.
The case hinges on where Shakira lived during 2012-14. Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged the Grammy winner spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas.
Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been linked to Spain since she started dating soccer player Gerard Piqué.
Piqué, who plays for La Liga outfit Barcelona, is currently dating a 23-year-old public relations student, Clara Chia Marti.
The couple, who have two children, used to live together in Barcelona but recently ended their 11-year relationship.
Spain has cracked down on soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade for not paying their full due in taxes.
They were found guilty of evasion but both avoided prison time thanks to a provision that allows a judge to waive sentences under two years in length for first-time offenders.
With Post wires