‘They have violated my rights’: Shakira’s stinging statement ahead of tax fraud trial
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Shakira has directly addressed the six counts of tax fraud levelled against her by Spanish authorities, claiming they are trying to “damage [her] reputation”.
The singer’s lawyer, Pablo Molins Amat, presented her legal statement of offence to the Barcelona court that has been investigating her on Friday, which includes a personal statement from Shakira herself.
“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,” the Hips Don’t Lie singer’s message read.
“As well as that they are trying to damage a reputation earned with the work of many years.”
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Shakira also hit out at the Treasury’s methods of investigating her, saying, “In my case they have violated my right to privacy and the presumption of innocence, basic rights of any citizen.”
The mum-of-two claims the Treasury has in the past requested private data from hospitals where she requested an appointment, even visiting her favourite hairdressers in Barcelona, as well as corroborating with her social media accounts to determine her location.
The legal statement of offence statement presented by Amat read:
“Shakira is a taxpayer who has always shown impeccable tax conduct and has never had tax problems in any other jurisdiction.
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“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.”
The pop star’s representatives explained the circumstances behind what may have led to an illusion of Shakira’s extended stay in the country.
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“What actually occurred were sporadic presences, thus resulting in an accusation based on mere conjecture,” they explained in the statement.
“As an example, the accusation counts all the payments made with a series of credit cards belonging to her team and friends made in Spain to add up the days of Shakira’s presence in this country, 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.”
The Grammy award winner doubled down, saying she is prepared to go to trial instead of settling with the treasury.
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“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.”
Spanish prosecutors first accused the entertainer of tax fraud in 2018, claiming she failed to pay €14.5 million ($21.5 million) in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. They sought an eight-year prison sentence and an additional fine for the singer’s alleged tax evasion.
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Authorities claim the singer spent 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in the country in 2014, which exceeds the 183 days in a calendar year required to be considered a Spanish resident for tax purposes.
The 45-year-old has repeatedly denied any wrong doing, with her public relations firm saying that she has already paid all that she owed and an additional €3 million ($4.6 million) in interest.
The date for the trial in Barcelona has yet to be set.
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