Divisive influencer Andrew Tate awaits Romanian court ruling

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Divisive social media personality Andrew Tate, who describes himself as a misogynist, waited Tuesday for a Romanian court to rule on his appeal to hold him in detention for 30 days on charges of human trafficking, rape and being part of an organized crime. a group.

Tate, 36, a British-American citizen with 4.5 million Twitter followers, was initially arrested on Dec. 29. 24 hours with his brother Tristan who is accused in the same case. Two Romanian women were also detained.

The four appealed the judge’s December 30 decision to grant the prosecution’s request to extend the detention period to 30 days. A document explaining the judge’s reasoning stated that “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored,” and that they can “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition.”

Tate and the three other defendants arrived at the Bucharest Court of Appeal in handcuffs on Tuesday and were taken away this afternoon. Eugene Videnic, the Romanian defense attorney representing Tate, told reporters after a morning hearing that “all four defendants gave their statements” and that “the lawyers’ petitions were fully heard.”

“The court has to decide. We hope for a positive solution for our clients,” said Videnek.

Vedenek told The Associated Press that a decision on the appeal is expected later Tuesday.

Tate, a former professional boxer, has reportedly lived in Romania since 2017 and was previously banned from several high-profile social media platforms for expressing misogynist views and hate speech. In the week of his arrest, he exchanged insults on Twitter with teen climate activist Greta Thunberg.

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

The agency said the victims were lured through claims of love, and later intimidated, kept under surveillance, and subjected to other methods of control while being forced to perform pornographic acts intended to make money for their alleged persecutors.

Prosecutors investigating the case confiscated 15 luxury carsAt least seven of them are owned by the Tate brothers, and more than 10 properties or land are owned by companies registered with them, said Ramona Paula, a DIICOT spokeswoman.

If prosecutors can prove that the Tates earned money through human trafficking, Bola said, the assets “will be taken by the state and (will cover) the expenses of the investigation and damages to the victims.”

If the appeals court upholds the extension of the warrant, then prosecutors can request the detention of up to 180 days for the four accused persons. If the court accepts the appeal, the defendants can be placed under house arrest or prevented from leaving Romania.

Since Tate’s arrest, a series of ambiguous posts have appeared on his Twitter account. Every tweet gets a lot of media attention.

One, published on Sunday, was accompanied by Roman’s report indicating that he or his brother had needed medical attention since their arrest, and read: “The Matrix attacked me. But they misunderstand. You can’t kill an idea. Hard to kill.”

Another post, from Saturday, read: “Going to prison when guilty of a crime is the life story of a criminal… Going to prison when totally innocent is the story of a hero.”

Hope not Hate, a UK advocacy group, said it had watched Tate for years “because of his close links to the far-right”. She described the influencer in a report she released last year as “extremely misogynistic” and with conspiratorial views.

“Our main concern is that his brand of extreme and sometimes violent misogyny reaches young male audiences and that he could serve as a gateway to broader far-right politics,” Hope not Hate said in a statement after a parent on Facebook blocked Tate. Meta Company in August.

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