June 21 - Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei appeals a multi-million dollar tax evasion fine that he calls politically motivated. Jessica Gray reports.
Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei is at the centre of a tax scandal he calls politically motivated. The government is demanding he pay a $2.4 million fine for tax evasion. But Weiwei is refusing and has appealed the decision. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE DISSIDENT AI WEIWEI SAYING: "The situation we're facing now is the judiciary is not independent. The police, the tax agency and the courts are all fundamentally entwined together, so the conclusion is it's very difficult to be corrected. Basically, they serve to protect one another." The case is unusual in that courts rarely allow dissidents to appeal charges. But authorities are keeping a close watch on the trial, and have warned Weiwei to stay away from the proceedings. Weiwei is also seeking support from the community and calling for a public forum, despite efforts to silence him. The verdict is expected in a month's time. Jessica Gray, Reuters.