BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Divisive social media figure Andrew Tate is expected to appeal Tuesday before a Romanian court against a judge’s earlier decision to extend his arrest period from 24 hours to 30 days on charges of making part of an organized crime, human trafficking and rape.
Tate, a 36-year-old Anglo-American citizen who has amassed 4.4 million Twitter followers, was initially arrested on December 29 in an area north of the capital Bucharest along with his brother Tristan, who is accused in the same case. . Two Romanian suspects are also in custody.
All four immediately contested the arrest extension granted to prosecutors on Dec. 30. A document explaining the judge’s reasoning for the extension states that “the possibility that they evade investigations cannot be ignored” and that they could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition.
A verdict on the appeal is expected later Tuesday, Eugen Vidineac, the Romanian lawyer representing Tate, told the Associated Press.
Romania’s organized crime agency DIICOT said after the raids in late December it had identified six victims in the case who were subjected by the group to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and were sexually exploited by members of the group.
The agency said victims were lured by pretensions of love and subsequently intimidated, surveilled and subjected to other control tactics to engage in pornographic acts intended for substantial financial gain.
An important video statement from our attorney.
— Andrew Tate (@Cobratato) January 9, 2023
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 in their names, said Ramona Bolla, spokeswoman of DIICOT.
Bolla said that if prosecutors can prove they made money through human trafficking, the property “will be taken by the state and (cover) the costs of the investigation and damages to the victims.”
If the court decides to uphold the extended arrest warrant on Tuesday, prosecutors could request detention for up to 180 days. If the court cancels the extension, the defendants could be placed under house arrest or similar conditions such as a ban on leaving Romania.
Since Tate’s arrest, a series of shady posts have appeared on his Twitter account, all of which have attracted media attention.
One, released on Sunday and accompanied by a local report suggesting he or his brother needed medical attention after their detention, reads: “The Matrix attacked me. But they misunderstand, you can’t kill an idea. Die Hard.”
Another post, which appeared on Saturday, reads: “Going to prison when guilty of a crime is the story of a criminal’s life…going to jail when completely innocent is the story of a hero.”
Tate, who is said to have lived in Romania since 2017, was previously banned from various major social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 1, 2023
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