Chinese authorities agree to review Ai Weiwei tax case

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, photographed in November 2010
Image caption Chinese authorities will take two months to review Ai Weiwei's tax evasion case

Authorities in China have agreed to Ai Weiwei's request to review a $2.4m (£1.55m) fine imposed by the tax bureau for ''back taxes''.

The outspoken artist was charged with tax evasion linked to his Fake Cultural Development Ltd company in November.

He paid a $1.3m bond required by law for an appeal and his lawyers filed a 9,000-word request last week.

He said officials told him over the phone on Wednesday that the review would be completed in two months.

He was able to pay the bond after some 30,000 supporters sent money to him.

Mr Ai says that the allegations against him are a bid by the authorities to silence his criticism of the government.

The world-renowned artist was arrested in April 2011 and detained for 81 days, his whereabouts unknown.

He was given a gag order when released in June, but continued to tweet and speak to international media. He was then charged with tax evasion.

The artist was named by ArtReview magazine last year as the most powerful artist in the world.

"We hope that the tax bureau will earnestly review the case," Mr Ai's lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, told AFP.

"If we are not satisfied with the results, we can bring the case to court," he added.

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