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SPAIN: Shakira In Plea Deal Over Tax Fraud Spared Jail

Pop star Shakira has avoided jail by reaching a deal with tax authorities in Spain, avoiding a €14.5m trial on the morning it was due to begin and walking away with a suspended sentence.

The 46-year-old Colombian singer said she had sought “the advice of the world’s preeminent tax authorities PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited and Ernst & Young Global Limited”, her advisers throughout the process.

“Unfortunately, and despite these efforts, tax authorities in Spain pursued a case against me as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people’s energy, time, and tranquillity for years at a time,” she said after her last court appearance.

“I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love – my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career, including my upcoming world tour and my new album, both of which I am extremely excited about.

Shakira agreed to pay a fine of €7m, she also received a suspended three-year sentence, the AP news agency reported.

The agreement means a trial which had been due to include dozens of witnesses, and was expected to last several weeks, has now been called off – and prosecutors have dropped their demand for the star to be jailed for eight years.

Shakira had faced six counts of failing to pay the Spanish government €14.5m (about £12.7m) in taxes between 2012 and 2014 while residing in the country with her then hubby footballer, Gerard Piqué.