Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan will stay in custody until 27 February, a judge has ruled.
A Romanian court has extended their police detention by 30 days with reasons to be given in a written statement later today (20 January). The brothers are being investigated over allegations of sexual assault and exploitation.
Both Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan deny the allegations against them. Following the arrest on 29 December 2022, Romanian authorities have seized over £3 million in assets as part of the ongoing criminal inquiry into allegations of human trafficking.
Tate and his brother recently appeared in court, on 10 January, to appeal against a judge’s decision to extend his arrest period from 24 hours to 30 days on charges of being part of an organised crime group, human trafficking and rape, but the court rejected said appeal.
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What’s going on with his arrest?
On 10 January, court in Romania upheld the 30-day arrest of Tate on charges of organised crime, human trafficking and rape, an official has said.
Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for Romanian anti-organised crime agency DIICOT, said that a court in the capital Bucharest had rejected an appeal by Tate against a judge’s earlier decision to extend his arrest from 24 hours to 30 days.
The 36-year-old British-US citizen, who has amassed 4.4 million followers on Twitter, was detained on December 29 north of the capital Bucharest along with his brother Tristan, who has also been charged. Two Romanian suspects are also in custody. All four of them have challenged the arrest extension that was granted to prosecutors on December 30.
A document explaining the judge’s reasoning said “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored” and they could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition”.
Prior to his appeal, Tate arrived at Bucharest’s Court of Appeal in handcuffs.
Eugen Vidineac, a Romanian defence lawyer representing Tate, told journalists after a morning hearing that “all four of the accused have made statements” and “the lawyers’ pleas were listened to entirely”.
“The court has to decide. We hope for a positive solution for our clients,” Vidineac had said.
Diicot said after the late December raids that it had identified six victims who were subjected by the group to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and were sexually exploited by group members. The agency said victims were lured by pretences of love and later intimidated, surveilled and subjected to other control tactics into performing pornographic acts intended to reap substantial financial gains.
Prosecutors investigating the case have so far seized 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 Bolla.
Bolla said if prosecutors can prove they gained money through human trafficking, the property “will be taken by the state and [will] cover the expenses of the investigation and damages to the victims”.
Following the decision to uphold the arrest warrant extension, prosecutors could request detention for a maximum of 180 days.
Romanian police have since expanded their investigation into Tate, seizing a number of luxury cars and raiding more than seven properties, including a recently renovated villa under the Carpathian Mountains.
While no charges have been brought forward yet, Mihaela Dragus, a spokesperson for Romania’s National Anti-Trafficking Agency, has said that the case is already sending a clear message to traffickers and victims.
She said: “The fact that the justice system has decided to keep the brothers in custody, even during the preliminary phase of the [case], sends a very important message.”
Was Andrew Tate in the hospital?
Prior to appearing in court, Romanian news outlet Antena 3 reported an exclusive that claimed “one of the brothers” has been taken to hospital, however did not name whether it was Tate himself or his brother, Tristan. The article said that the brothers received a routine medical visit during the first days of their arrest, and that one of them had ended up in the hospital.
It said that one of the brothers “notified the central detention centre and stated he had certain medical problems” and that he was subsequently taken to a “specialist consultation in a hospital in the capital”.
Carmina Pricopie, who wrote the article, added: “Now, from my information, he is again in the central detention centre of the Capital Police.”
What has he said on Twitter?
On 8 January, on Twitter, Tate linked to a different Romanian article from Spy News which reported the same story, and added: “The Matrix has attacked me. But they misunderstand, you cannot kill an idea. Hard to Kill.”
His cryptic tweet has left his followers somewhat confused, with one person replying: “That literally was the worst update ever.”
Since then, Tate has released a number of other tweets as well as retweets which maintain his innocence.
On 15 January, he wrote: “Anyone who believes I am a human trafficker may as well go and take their 10th vaccine. There are 0 victims, 0 proof of any crime in our case file. They have arrested me to “look” for evidence. Which they will not find because it doesn’t exist.”