Barcelona, Spain, May 26 (EFE).- Colombian singer Shakira is set to go on trial in Spain for allegedly defrauding the Spanish tax agency of 14.5 million euros ($16.8M), a Barcelona court ruled Thursday.
The court rejected an appeal lodged by the popstar’s defense team and ruled there was sufficient evidence to move ahead with the criminal case in which she is accused by state prosecutors of avoiding income and corporate tax payments between 2012-14 by declaring her residency outside Spain and using a network of companies based in tax havens.
Shakira has already paid the 14.5 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities — plus a further three million in interest — but the move does not foreclose the possibility of a trial.
The decision by the Barcelona court on Thursday means state prosecutors must file a formal accusation against the singer.
In a statement, the 45-year-old singer, whose partner is Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué, said the ruling neither assessed whether she had committed a crime nor dismissed the arguments put forward by the defense but rather summoned both parties to put forward their cases.
“The dismissal of the appeal is simply one more step in the process, which now continues its usual course,” the statement added.
The singer, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, added that her defense team would continue to plead her innocence with strong legal arguments, “verifiable evidence” and expert reports, including from a professor and a supreme court judge.
Shakira added that her tax conduct had been “impeccable.”EFE