A court in China has rejected an appeal by the country’s most famous dissident artist Ai Weiwei against a nearly 2 million euro fine for tax evasion.
If he does not pay the near million euros outstanding on the fine, he risks going to jail.
It ends a near five-month long legal battle, with no further appeal possible. Ai Weiwei says he does not have the money, and refuses to pay it anyway, as he says this will legitimise the charge he insists is baseless.
“People say ‘you knew this result from the beginning’; that’s true. Today’s result is not the one we should have had. China should be changing every day, but it truth it isn’t. We still live in a rotten legal system that cannot possibly be fair or impartial,” he said after the verdict.
Ai Weiwei says he was not notified of today’s hearing in accordance with the law, which turned out to only be a reading of the verdict, in time to be assisted by his lawyer. He has been given no deadline to pay up.