Ai Weiwei Loses Final Appeal in Tax Case

Dissident must pay $2.4M fine—or face jail
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2012 9:17 AM CDT
Ai Weiwei Loses Final Appeal in Tax Case
Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei, right, speaks to journalists after attending his appeal case at the Beijing No. 2 People's Intermediate Court in Beijing, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(Newser) – Ai Weiwei lost his second appeal against a $2.4 million tax evasion fine today, settling the case for good. Now, if he doesn't shell out the remaining $1.05 million, the dissident artist could face jail time—and he says he's not paying, Reuters reports. To pay the sum would mean assenting that the case against him is legitimate, he says. "If I need to go to jail, there's nothing I can do about it," he notes. "This country has no fairness and justice."

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"Even if I've paid the 6 million yuan, I still could possibly go to jail," he says. "They don't need an excuse to arrest me—they can always find another excuse at any time." Nor does he have the money to pay, he adds. For the first time in the case, authorities let Ai attend court in person, but it "didn't respect the facts or give us a chance to defend ourselves," he says. He notes that the court informed him of its ruling yesterday by phone, when it should have told him in writing three days in advance, the AP reports. The move meant his lawyers couldn't attend court today. (Read more Ai Weiwei stories.)

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