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He was released late Wednesday after pleading guilty to tax evasion. He told the BBC he was in good health, and happy to be home. He expressed gratitude to the media for the attention it gave him, but said he could not speak to the media about his case.
Xinhua news agency reported that Ai was suffering from a chronic illness. It reported that he had offered to repay his taxes and was being released because of his "good attitude in confessing his crimes."