Shakira in court in Spain over alleged tax fraud

Shakira faced a plagiarism case with another Latino performer earlier in the year, where the court ruled in favor of the performers. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 June 2019
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Shakira in court in Spain over alleged tax fraud

  • The singer is accused of evading taxes between 2011 and 2014
  • This is the second court case Shakira faces in nearly two months

ESPLUGUES DE LLOBREGAT, Spain: Colombian superstar Shakira went to court near Barcelona on Thursday to be questioned over the alleged evasion of $16.3 million in taxes.
The 42-year-old singer avoided dozens of reporters, photographers and television cameras at the courthouse in Esplugues de Llobregat by entering via the garage.
The hearing of the performer, one of the biggest stars from Latin America who lives in Barcelona with footballer Gerard Pique and their two young sons, was due to start at 10:00 am local time (0800 GMT).
Prosecutors accuse her and one of her advisers of tax fraud after she allegedly failed to pay taxes in Spain despite being a resident between 2011 and 2014.
The case only covers the period from 2012 to 2014, however, as the timeframe to prosecute alleged tax offenses in 2011 has expired.
Prosecutors say that while she moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with Pique was made public, her official tax residency remained in the Bahamas Islands until 2015 when she started paying taxes in Spain.
Her defense team however insists that until 2014 she earned most of her money in international tours and did not live more than six months a year in Spain — a prerequisite to be an official tax-paying resident in the country.
According to Spanish media, she has already paid back what she allegedly owes to tax authorities.
This is the second time in just over two months that Shakira has appeared in court in Spain after having denied allegations she and Colombian singer Carlos Vives plagiarised part of their Grammy award-winning hit “La Bicicleta.”
The Madrid court subsequently cleared her and Vives, saying there had been “no plagiarism whatsoever.”


Jeddah's Kanz Al-Balad, Al-Ozwa Street Performance enthrall visitors

Updated 16 June 2019
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Jeddah's Kanz Al-Balad, Al-Ozwa Street Performance enthrall visitors

  • Kanz Al-Balad takes visitors on a historical journey through Jeddah’s Al-Balad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Al-Ozwa Street Performance is an interactive play about a young man who is preparing for his engagement ceremony

JEDDAH: The 40-day Jeddah Season festival is currently underway, with the launch of a schedule of international shows and plays being presented for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

The festival, which began on June 8 and runs until July 18, forms part of a major drive to boost tourism in the Kingdom.

Most of the festival’s events are taking place at King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah’s historical area, Al-Hamra Corniche and the Jeddah Waterfront.

Among the events is the Kanz Al-Balad scavenger hunt for families and children, with 41 shows lined up for the duration of the festival. 

Kanz Al-Balad is organized daily at Bab Jadeed from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and is aimed at helping participants learn more about Jeddah, interact with businesses, and improve their creativity and problem-solving skills.

Participants are split into teams, and are tasked with finding hidden objects or places with the help of clues.

Kanz Al-Balad takes visitors on a historical journey through Jeddah’s Al-Balad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For comedy and history lovers, Al-Ozwa Street Performance is a must. There are four 45-minute shows daily until the end of the festival.

The interactive play, set 100 years ago, is about a young man named Omar who is preparing for his engagement ceremony, and encounters a dilemma unrelated to his engagement.

He needs the audience’s help to get him out of the trouble he is in, and to have a problem-free engagement ceremony. Show timings are 6:15 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:45 p.m. and 10 p. m.

Raed Abuzinada, general supervisor of Jeddah Season, said the festival is part of a national initiative to promote the tourism sector, which is a major contributor to the Saudi economy.

Visitors buying tickets online for any of the festival’s events can secure an e-tourism visa at the same time, he added. The visa will be issued within three minutes, he said. Details are at www.sharek.com.sa.