Spanish Judge Marco JuberÃas, investigating the alleged tax fraud by Colombian musician Shakira, recommended on Thursday that the case go to trial, after concluding there is evidence that the pop star could have avoided her fiscal obligations to the state. He wrote that his three-year probe found there existed "sufficient evidence of criminality" for the case to go to a trial judge. The decision can be appealed.
Shakira faces a possible fine and even jail time if found guilty of tax evasion. However, a judge can waive prison time for first-time offenders if they are sentenced to less than two years behind bars.
Prosecutors charged the singer in December 2019 with not paying 14.5 million euros ($16.4 million) in taxes in Spain between 2012 and 2014, when she lived mostly in the country despite having an official residence in Panama.
Shakira's public relations firm has stated that she had immediately paid what she owed once she was informed of the debt by the Tax Office. She denied any kind of wrongdoing when she testified in June 2019.
(With inputs from The Associated Press)