MADRID- A Spanish judge has seen "sufficient evidence" for Colombian singer Shakira to face trial for tax fraud, a court document released on Thursday said.
Judge Marco Jesus Juberias has wrapped up a pre-trial investigation of allegations by prosecutors that the singer failed to pay up to 14.5 million euros ($17.2 million) in tax on income earned between 2012 and 2014. It is a preliminary step before a trial is set.
"The documents (...) annexed to the lawsuit are sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to continue with the proceedings," the judge said in the court document.
While prosecutors say Shakira was living in the region of Catalonia during those years, her representatives argue she did not live in Spain until 2015 and has met all of her tax obligations.
Shakira's representatives in Spain said in an emailed statement on Thursday that the court document was an "expected step in the process" and that the singer's legal team "remains confident and fully cooperative with the judiciary and will not comment further".
The 44-year-old singer and the FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique have been together since 2011 and they have two children.
($1 = 0.8417 euros)
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +918 35 68 34;))