BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – A court in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, has upheld the 30-day detention of divisive social media personality and misogynist Andrew Tate on charges of organized crime, human trafficking and rape. an official said Tuesday afternoon.
Ramona Bolla, a spokeswoman for Romania’s anti-organized crime agency DIICOT, said the court rejected an appeal by Tate against a judge’s earlier decision to extend his detention from 24 hours to 30 days.
Tate, 36, a British-American citizen who has 4.5 million Twitter followers, was initially arrested on December 29. for 24 hours together with his brother Tristany, who was accused in the same case. Two Romanian women were also arrested.
The Bucharest Court of Appeal on Tuesday afternoon rejected all four appeals against a judge’s December 30 decision to accept prosecutors’ request to extend the detention period. A document explaining the judge’s earlier decision said that “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 and the three other defendants arrived in Bucharest court in handcuffs on Tuesday morning and were taken away in the afternoon, hours before the court was due to sentence them.
After Tate lost his appeal, a cryptic post on his Twitter account read: “When Allah said, “I test only those I love.” I took the pain as an honor: Abu Hurayrah. It was one of several ambiguous posts that appeared on the account since his arrest.
Tate, a former professional kickboxer who has reportedly been living in Romania since 2017, had previously been banned from several prominent social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech. The week of his arrest, he traded insults on Twitter with teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.
DIICOT said it had identified six victims in the trafficking case who were subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and were sexually exploited by members of the alleged criminal group.
The agency said the victims were lured by pretense of love and then intimidated, kept under surveillance and subjected to other control tactics while being coerced into performing pornographic acts with the intention of making money for their alleged stalkers.
The prosecutor’s office investigating the case has confiscated 15 luxury carsat least seven of which were owned by the Tate brothers, and more than 10 properties or land owned by companies registered to them, said DIICOT spokesman Bolla.
Bolla said that if prosecutors can prove the Tates made money through human trafficking, the assets “will be taken by the state and (will cover) the costs of the investigation and damages to the victims.”
After the appeals court upheld the extension of the detention order, prosecutors can now seek detentions of up to 180 days for the four accused.
Since Tate’s arrest, a series of ambiguous posts have appeared on his Twitter account. Every tweet attracts media attention.
One, published on Sunday and accompanied by a Romanian report suggesting he or his brother have required medical attention since their arrest, read: “The Matrix attacked me. But they don’t understand, you can’t kill an idea. Hard to kill”.
Another post, from 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” .
Hope not Hate, a UK advocacy group, said it monitored Tate for years “because of his close links to the far right”. He described the influencer in a report he produced last year as an “extreme misogynist” who holds conspiratorial views.
“Our main concern is that their brand of extreme and sometimes violent misogyny reaches a young male audience and could serve as a gateway to wider far-right politics,” Hope not Hate said in a statement after Tate was banned by Facebook parent. Meta company in August.
McGrath contributed from Sighisoara, Romania.