SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Shakira loses appeal and inches closer to Spanish tax fraud trial

Colombian superstar Shakira inched closer to standing trial in Spain for tax fraud after a Barcelona court dismissed an appeal from the singer, in a ruling made public Thursday.

Shakira loses appeal and inches closer to Spanish tax fraud trial
Colombian singer Shakira blows kisses as she arrives for the screening of the film "Elvis" during the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 25, 2022. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP)

Prosecutors accuse the 45-year-old “Hips don’t Lie” songstress of defrauding the Spanish tax office out of 14.5 million euros ($15.5 million) on income earned between 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutors say she moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public but maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.

Her defence team argues she moved to Spain full time only in 2015 and has met all tax obligations.

They say that until 2014 she earned most of her money from international tours, did not live more than six months a year in Spain and was therefore not resident under tax law.

But a Barcelona court ruled that “documentation provided to prove” tax residence overseas “does not appear to sufficient”.

“We can consider that the appellant had her usual residence in Spain,” the court added in a ruling made public on Thursday.

The ruling ratifies a prior court decision issued in 2021.

Prosecutors now need to present an indictment before the court can order a trial.

Shakira’s lawyers insisted Thursday that her “conduct on tax matters has always been impeccable in all the countries she had to pay taxes”.

She has “no debts to the Spanish tax authorities” and paid any sums claimed by the tax authorities “as soon as she became aware of the amount,” they added in a statement.

Shakira, who has sold over 60 million albums, lives with Pique on the outskirts of Barcelona. The couple have two children.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

Spain police start wearing bodycams to boost security

Spanish police have begun wearing body cameras to record their interactions with the public in a move aimed at ensuring greater security that is gaining ground in Europe and the US.

Spain police start wearing bodycams to boost security

The interior ministry said the bodycam was launched Monday and would be “rolled out on a gradual basis to all police officers”, without saying how many were involved in the initial stages.

Spain’s TVE public television said the tiny cameras were being attached to the officers’ uniforms and could be activated either manually or automatically.

The main Spanish police union JUPOL hailed the move on Twitter, saying it was in response to “a request that the union has been making”.

“It will guarantee security, both for us to avoid any kind of misrepresentation of our interventions, as well as for the public, who will be able to clearly see the police’s professionalism and that there is no abuse of power nor excesses,” union spokesman Pablo PĂ©rez told TVE.

Forces in Europe and the United States are increasingly turning to such technology to boost transparency following a string of fatal shootings and other claims against police over the past decade.

“The cameras are being used under public safety protocols in order to record everything that happens in the event of an unwarranted offence during an operation,” Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska told TVE ahead of the rollout.

“If they are activated, it is to guarantee security and really be transparent so that the officers’ actions can be seen and checked,” the minister said.

“This means security for both the police and the public,” he added, suggesting that in time, they would also be available to Spain’s Guardia Civil rural police force.

France began trialling bodycams, known as “pedestrian cameras”, in 2013
before a gradual rollout in 2015 in a move welcomed by police, but greeted with scepticism by rights groups who said there was no guarantee they would be always activated.

Police in London and New York also began pilot schemes in 2014 with credit-card-sized cameras clipped onto their uniforms with the technology gradually deployed over the following years.

But the cameras have had mixed success. The absence of any legal obligation governing their use can also limit their scope to uncover police misconduct.

SHOW COMMENTS