China Rejects Ai Weiwei Appeal in Tax Case
Dissident artist Ai Weiwei will not be granted an appeal hearing in his tax evasion case, Reuters reports. Last year Ai raised donations of 8.45 million yuan to pay a bond which ensured an administrative review of his case, in which authorities claim his business owes 15 million yuan in unpaid taxes:
Ai said the tax authorities told him on Thursday afternoon that they will uphold the original decision. He said he plans to file lawsuits against the Beijing tax authorities and the Beijing public security bureau within the next 15 days.
“Thirty thousand people want us to get to the bottom of this and everyone is very supportive,” Ai told Reuters by phone.
“I can honestly say, I never had much expectations. This government, from the very beginning, has never changed any of its decisions. Which society is capable of that?” he said.
Ai paid a bond of 8.45 million yuan last November – all contributions from tens of thousands of supporters – that allowed him access to an administrative review of the tax evasion charges. He said at the time that he was pessimistic about successfully contesting the charges.