Colombian pop star Shakira, 44 old, could stand trial for alleged tax evasion of 14.5 million euros ($17 million) in Spain, a judge at a court near Barcelona has ruled considering that there is “sufficient evidence.” Judge Marco Jesus Juberias wrote that Shakira lived more than 200 days in Spain in each of those three years, making her liable to pay taxes in the country. Shakira’s team argued that her main residence was in the Bahamas but local media said she has a home in the Barcelona area, with her longtime partner, FC Barcelona football defender Gerard Pique. The ruling was dated July 20 and the judge gave the parties to the case 10 business days to submit additional arguments, including to argue to shelve the case. The Spanish tax code says that anyone who resides in Spain for at least six months and a day , or 183 days , in a given year is liable to pay taxes in Spain.
Shakira is accused of failing to pay about $16.4 million in taxes to the state between 2012 and 2014. The prosecution is accusing Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, of six tax offenses. She could face a fine and even jail time if convicted. A judge can waive prison time for first-time offenders if they are sentenced to less than two years behind bars. Shakira said she was up-to-date with her taxes, had given her full cooperation to the investigation and had no outstanding debts with the tax authorities. The decision can be appealed.