Nov. 15 - Chinese activist and internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei pays back taxes in an effort to appeal tax evasion charges he says the government invented to silence him. Lindsey Parietti reports.
Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei is combating what he says is a politically motivated tax evasion charge. The 54-year-old artist has paid an 8.45 million yuan bond, worth about 1.3 million dollars, to make an appeal against the government charges. (SOUNDBITE)(Mandarin) CHINESE ARTIST-ACTIVIST AI WEIWEI SPEAKING ON PHONE (OVERLAID WITH RECENT REUTERS PHOTOS OF AI): "Our next step is to request an administrative review and ask for an explanation for all the illegal aspects in the whole legal process." The outspoken activist's 81-day detention earlier this year sparked international outcry. The tax money was raised by his supporters so he can appeal against the charges and an additional 6.6. million yuan fine. The combined bill totals 15 million yuan - about 2.4 million dollars. (SOUNDBITE)(Mandarin) CHINESE ARTIST-ACTIVIST AI WEIWEI SPEAKING ON PHONE (OVERLAID WITH RECENT REUTERS PHOTOS OF AI): "Ha, I think the chance of winning is probably zero. Because this is a political case from the very beginning. The so-called tax issue is just one of their ways to deal with a political case. So I think it is totally impossible to win this case." Ai is fighting the tax charge to keep his wife, who is the legal advisor for the firm accused of tax evasion, out of prison. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters