State media say Chinese artist Ai Weiwei released

By the Associated Press | June 22, 2011 | 10:44 AM EDT

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say renowned activist artist Ai Weiwei has been released on bail after confessing to tax evasion.

The Xinhua News Agency says Ai's poor health was also a factor in his release Wednesday.

It says Ai had shown a "good attitude in confessing his crimes" and repeatedly pledged to pay back taxes he owed.

It says a company linked to Ai, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., evaded a "huge amount" of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents. Ai's family and supporters have dismissed similar accusations in the past.

Ai helped design the iconic Bird's Nest Olympic stadium. Famed for his irreverence toward authority, he was picked up at Beijing's airport on April 3 and was held outside Beijing.