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Shakira issues INTENSE statement on £12 million tax fraud case: Spain authorities VIOLATED my right to privacy

Pinkvilla logo Pinkvilla 26-11-2022 Karishma Shetty

Shakira has an intense response to her ongoing legal battle against Spain's tax authorities. For the unversed, the Hips Don't Lie singer has been accused of not paying up to 12 million pounds in tax between 2012-2014. With the impending tax fraud trial, Shakira could end up with an 8-year jail sentence and a fine of €23 million, if found guilty. A date for the trial at a Barcelona court is yet to be set.

Shakira Feels "Persecuted" by Spanish Treasury

In a statement on Friday, i.e. November 25 - via Daily Mail - Shakira believes that she's been "persecuted" while accusing the Spanish Treasury of using "unacceptable methods" in order to damage her reputation and oblige her to come to a settlement agreement. As of now, Shakira has no plans of making any plea deals and would rather fight for her innocence in court. The 45-year-old singer's spokesperson stated that Shakira feels Spain's tax authorities were accusing her of lying when it comes to residing outside of the country "without evidence" for the years she's been charged with tax fraud.

For the unversed, Shakira - who was previously a tax resident in the Bahamas - registered as a full-time tax resident in Spain only in 2015, even though she started to date now ex-husband Gerard Piqué five years prior. To be noted, if you spend more than 183 days in Spain, then you're considered to be a Spanish resident for tax purposes. After spending a year checking up on Shakira - reportedly even visiting her favourite Barcelona hairdressers and through her active social media - Spanish tax inspectors concluded that the Waka Waka singer spent 242 days in 2012 in Spain, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in 2014. After this conclusion, Shakira was indicted with six counts of tax fraud for 2012-2014.

Shakira: Spanish Tax Authorities "Have Violated My Right to Privacy"

Daily Mail revealed Shakira's legal statement of offence has been presented to the Barcelona court, which has been investigating her. Her legal team released a statement, authorised by the Grammy-winning musician: "Shakira is a taxpayer who has always shown impeccable tax conduct and has never had tax problems in any other jurisdiction. The singer relied on top advisors such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers. She never exceeded the 183 days of presence in Spain required to be a tax resident. With no solid evidence to support the charges against her, she has been fiercely persecuted in the criminal and media spheres using unacceptable methods to damage her reputation and force her to come to a settlement agreement. Shakira has already paid more than 90 million euros for international income that has not been generated in Spain and for her international assets, without having a business centre in this country where she has never earned a significant income."

Shakira also issued a personal message of her authorised statement where she accused how the Spanish tax authorities are damaging her reputation as well as violating her right to privacy: "It is unacceptable that in its accusation the tax authorities are not respecting the legal certainty that must be guaranteed to any taxpayer, not my fundamental rights. As well as that they are trying to damage a reputation earned with the work of many years."

Referring to the "unorthodox and unacceptable methods" undertaken by the Spanish Treasury like requesting private data from hospitals where the She Wolf singer had an appointment, Shakira added, "In my case, they have violated my right to privacy and the presumption of innocence, basic rights of any citizen." Shakira has also accused some of the Spanish Treasury's senior representatives of making statements to the media, which is a breach of their duty of confidentiality, and in the process, creating a "contrived story that gave the appearance of Shakira's permanent presence in Spanish territory."

Shakira's representatives further explained, "What actually occurred were sporadic presences, thus resulting in an accusation based on mere conjecture." They argued how the accusation counts payments made in Spain with credit cards belonging to Shakira's team and friends, which were used to add up the days of the Beautiful Liar singer's presence in the country. However, this was done without taking into account that, "on many occasions, there are payments made simultaneously in different parts of the world, without the artist being physically present in those places where the payments were being made."

As mentioned earlier, Shakira has made it clear that she's ready to go to trial to prove her innocence rather than striking a deal with the Spanish tax authorities: "Shakira continues to maintain her firm will to comply with all her tax obligations in Spain, as well as in all the countries where she has resided or performed during her long professional career. Finally, Shakira wishes to express her absolute confidence in the independence of the Spanish justice system and her firm conviction that, after the trial, her full innocence will prevail."

ALSO READ: Shakira and Gerard Piqué reach agreement on child custody, singer to move to Miami with their sons

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