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Originally published Friday, April 13, 2012 at 1:21 AM

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Artist Ai Weiwei sues tax officials for violations

Outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says he is suing tax officials for what he says is acting illegally in demanding his company pay a large fine for alleged tax evasion.

The Associated Press

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BEIJING —

Outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says he is suing tax officials for what he says is acting illegally in demanding his company pay a large fine for alleged tax evasion.

Ai says he filed a lawsuit Friday at the Beijing High Court against the No. 2 Inspection Squad of the Beijing tax bureau. He says it violated laws in handling witnesses, evidence and company accounts in his case.

He says the court will decide in a week whether to accept the lawsuit.

Ai was detained for three months last year during an overall crackdown on dissent. Following his release, authorities demanded his design company pay $2.4 million in back taxes and fines. Activists interpreted the penalty as punishment for his government criticism.

Calls to the tax bureau rang unanswered.

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