Siweiluozi has translated a catalogue of procedural and other problems in the Fake Cultural Development Limited tax case, written by the company’s legal counsel in the matter, Pu Zhiqiang. His analysis suggests that authorities “exceeded their authority” in a number of ways while detaining Ai Weiwei and others, pursuing its case against Fake, and obstructing the company’s response. From Siweiluozi’s introduction:
Some have taken exception to the “knee-jerk” way in which Western media have approached Ai Weiwei’s case, feeling that they have uncritically presented this as the heroic struggle of a dissident artist against government repression without inquiring into whether there might be any validity to the tax charges against him.
It is legitimate to ask whether Ai Weiwei or, more accurately, the Fake Cultural Development Company, owes taxes. One might think that this is merely an objective fact, but, actually, it is a determination that should be based upon a proper, fair, and transparent procedure. As lawyer Pu Zhiqiang details in his recent analysis of the case, which I have translated below, there is good reason to challenge the legitimacy of the determination that has been made.
I believe it is also legitimate to raise questions about political motivations behind the prosecution because of the particular way in which the police intervened in this case prior to any investigation by tax authorities (something that Liu Xiaoyuan noted previously), the fact that Ai’s disappearance was carried out in the context of dozens of other detentions of activists and lawyers that were unambiguously political in nature, and the way in which the propaganda machinery has been mobilized to smear his reputation and “cast him out” of the ranks of the people.
See below for more recent news on the case.