Divisive influencer Andrew Tate appears in Romanian court

Divisive influencer Andrew Tate appears in Romanian court

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Disruptive social media personality Andrew Tate appeared in court in Romania’s capital Tuesday to appeal a judge’s decision to extend his detention on charges of being part of an organized crime group, human trafficking and rape up to 30 days.

Tate, 36, a British-American citizen who has 4.4 million Twitter followers, was initially detained on December 29 for 24 hours along with his brother Tristan, who was charged in the same case. Two Romanian women were also taken into custody.

All four immediately objected to the detention extension that a judge granted prosecutors on December 30. A document explaining the judge’s reasoning said “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored” and that they could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition”.

Tate arrived at the Bucharest Court of Appeal in handcuffs. Eugen Vidineac, a Romanian defense lawyer representing Tate, told reporters after a morning hearing that “all four accused have made statements” and that “the requests of the lawyers have been fully heard”.

“The court must decide. We hope for a positive solution for our customers”, said Vidineac.

A decision on the appeal was expected later Tuesday, Vidineac told The Associated Press.

Romania’s anti-organized crime agency DIICOT said after the raids in late December that it had identified six victims in the case who had been subjected by the group to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and sexually exploited by members of the group.

The agency said victims were lured by pretenses of love, and later intimidated, surveilled and subjected to other control tactics to commit pornographic acts aimed at reaping substantial financial gain.

Prosecutors investigating the case have so far seized a total of 15 luxury cars — at least seven of which are owned by the Tate brothers — and more than 10 properties or land owned by companies registered to them, said Ramona Bolla, a spokeswoman. of DIICOT.

Bolla said that if prosecutors can prove that they made money through human trafficking, the property “will be taken by the state and (will) cover the costs of the investigation and damages for the victims.”

If the court decides to uphold the extension of the arrest warrant on Tuesday, prosecutors can seek detention for a maximum of 180 days. If the court revokes the extension, the defendants may be placed under house arrest or similar conditions, such as Ban on leaving Romania.

Since Tate’s arrest, a series of ambiguous posts have appeared on his Twitter account, each receiving widespread media attention.

One, posted on Sunday and accompanied by a local report suggesting he or his brother have sought medical attention since their detention, read: “Matrix attacked me. But they misunderstand, you can’t kill an idea. Hard to kill.”

Another post, which appeared on Saturday, said: “Going to prison when guilty of a crime is the story of a criminal’s life… going to prison when completely innocent is the story of a hero.”

Tate, who has reportedly lived in Romania since 2017, has previously been banned from various popular social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *