Court To Hear Ai Weiwei’s Lawsuit

In a telephone interview with Reuters on Tuesday, dissident artist Ai Weiwei said that Beijing’s Chaoyang District Court had accepted his lawsuit against local tax authorities:

“I hope that they can make an independent verdict, but due to the interference of the tax bureau and the public security (bureau), it is difficult to say,” said Ai, China’s most prominent social critic whose 81-day detention last year sparked an international outcry.

“This is an extraordinary circumstance, but I think even if they didn’t accept this case, they wouldn’t be able to hide,” Ai said. “There were many problems with the procedures and the way they were carried out.”

Ai, 54, is urging a Beijing court to overturn the city tax office’s rejection of his appeal against the tax evasion penalty imposed on the company he works for, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., which has helped produce his art and designs.

Ai told Bloomberg that the case offers “a chance to look into the Chinese judicial system,” even if he loses the case:

Ai said the important thing is that the tax bureau’s case against him will be made public, allowing people to judge for themselves whether he was right or wrong.

“Every detail will be posted on the Internet and it will be a part of history,” he said.