Beijing court rejects artist AI Weiwei's tax evasion appeal
Beijing, July 20 (ANI): A Chinese court has rejected artist Ai Weiwei's lawsuit over a 1.5 million pound fine imposed on his company for tax evasion.
According to the Daily Express, Ai, an internationally renowned artist detained for three months last year after making remarks against the government, was barred from the Beijing court where the ruling was announced.
He said the case is part of an intimidation campaign to stop him from criticizing the government.
"Today's verdict means that after 60 years of the founding of our nation, we still lack the basic legal procedures, the truth is not respected, and they do not give taxpayers or citizens any rights to defend oneself. The whole legal system is in a dark state right now," he said.
His lawyer Pu Zhiqiang said the court ruled that the authorities used legal procedures in their case against Ai's design company, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd.
Pu said the ruling was made "totally without reason".
Shortly after Ai's release from detention last year, the Beijing tax bureau ordered Beijing Fake Cultural Development to pay 15 million yuan (1.5 million pounds) in back taxes and fines.
State media said Ai confessed to tax evasion before his release, but activists interpreted the penalty as punishment for his criticism against the authoritarian government.
The company filed a lawsuit accusing the tax bureau of violating laws in handling witnesses, evidence and company accounts in the case. (ANI)
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