BUCHAREST, RUSSIA – An official in Romania’s capital Bucharest said late Tuesday that a court in Bucharest upheld the 30-day arrest of divisive social media personality and self-described misogynist Andrew Tate on charges of organised crime, human trafficking, and rape.
According to Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for the Romanian anti-organized crime agency DIICOT, the court denied Tate’s appeal against a judge’s earlier decision to extend his detention from 24 hours to 30 days.
Tate, 36, a British-American citizen with 4.5 million Twitter followers, was detained for 24 hours on December 29 along with his brother Tristan, who was charged in the same case. Two Romanian women were also apprehended.
The court denied all four appeals filed against a judge’s decision to grant prosecutors’ request to extend the arrest period on December 30. According to a document explaining the judge’s reasoning, they could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition.”
Tate, a former professional kickboxer, is said to have lived in Romania since 2017 and was previously barred from several popular social media platforms for expressing misogynistic and hateful views. He insulted teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter the week before his arrest.
DIICOT stated that it had identified six victims in the trafficking case who had been subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and sexually exploited by members of the alleged criminal organisation.
According to the agency, victims were lured by false pretences of love and then intimidated, kept under surveillance, and subjected to other control tactics while being coerced into performing pornographic acts to earn money for the alleged persecutors.
Prosecutors investigating the case have seized 15 luxury cars, at least seven of which belonged to the Tate brothers, as well as more than ten properties or land owned by companies registered to them, according to DIICOT spokesperson Bolla.
If prosecutors can prove that the Tates obtained money through human trafficking, the assets “will be taken by the state and (will) cover the expenses of the investigation and damages to the victims,” according to Bolla.
Prosecutors can now request detentions of up to 180 days for the four people charged after the appeals court upheld the arrest warrant extension.
Tate’s Twitter account has been filled with ambiguous posts since his arrest. Each tweet generates a lot of media attention.
One, posted on Sunday and accompanied by a Romanian report claiming he or his brother needed medical attention since their arrests, read: “The Matrix has attacked me. But they are mistaken; you cannot kill an idea. “Difficult to Kill.”
Another Saturday post stated, “Going to jail when guilty of a crime is the life story of a criminal… Going to jail while completely innocent is a hero’s story.”
Hope not Hate, a British advocacy group, said it had been following Tate for years “due to his close ties to the far right.” In a report released last year, it described the influencer as a “extreme misogynist” with conspiratorial views.
“Our main concern is that his brand of extreme and sometimes violent misogyny is reaching a young male audience and that he could serve as a gateway to wider far-right politics,” Hope not Hate said in a statement following Tate’s ban by Facebook parent company Meta in August.