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.”


International Hay Festival set to arrive in the UAE

UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance announced Wednesday that the event will start on Feb. 24. (Supplied)
Updated 24 min 32 sec ago

International Hay Festival set to arrive in the UAE

DUBAI: For its first edition in the Arab World, the international Hay Festival will arrive in the UAE on Feb. 24, at Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al-Saadiyat and other venues across the city, UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance announced Wednesday. 

The four-day event will host workshops, artistic performances, new technology discovery, storytelling and many more art and literature-related activities.

The festival will take place at Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al-Saadiyat and other venues across the city. (Supplied)

Since 1987, the Hay Festival has launched 125 events globally, attracting more than 4.5 million people to events in 30 locations. 

The festival, originally based in Whales, will bring together writers and thinkers from different cultures and backgrounds to discuss ideas, share knowledge and host conversations. 

The festival aims to spark imagination and curiosity, from children and young literature enthusiasts to seasoned readers.

The Minster of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al-Nahyan said: “Hay Festival Abu Dhabi will be an important initiative of our Year of Tolerance, which celebrates the legacy of our nation’s founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, whose tolerance enabled the success we enjoy as a country today.”

Minster of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al-Nahyan announced the news in a press conference in Abu Dhabi. (Supplied) 

 “(The event) is not only about bringing the festival to Abu Dhabi, but taking Abu Dhabi to the world,” the international director of the Hay Festival, Cristina La Roche, told Arab News.

Cristina La Roche is the international director of the Hay Festival. (Supplied)

The award-winning Syrian poet Adonis is said to be attending the festival and will celebrate his 90th birthday with the participants. “He is one of the world’s greatest poets. He is unquestionably influential not only in Arabic but to poets all around the globe,” Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, told Arab News.   

Peter Florence is the director of Hay Festival. (Supplied) 

Other award-winning novelists like the Saudi Muhammed Hasan Alwan and the Omani Jokha Alharthi will also attend the event. 

Conversations will take place in multiple languages and all sessions will be live translated into Arabic and English. Tickets to all sessions will be free for those in full time education.