China alleges huge tax evasion by artist Ai Weiwei

By the Associated Press | May 20, 2011 | 10:13 AM EDT

BEIJING (AP) — China alleges artist Ai Weiwei's company evaded a huge amount of tax in the government's clearest disclosure yet about its investigation of the activist detained more than six weeks.

The official Xinhua News Agency citing police investigators saying Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd. was also found to have intentionally destroyed accounting documents. The brief report late Friday gave no other details.

Famed for his groundbreaking art and irreverence toward authority, Ai was picked up at Beijing's airport on April 3 and is being held under a form of detention known as residential surveillance somewhere outside Beijing.

Ai's detention his prompted an international outcry and Western leaders have called it a sign of China's deteriorating human rights.