Divisive influencer Andrew Tate awaits Romanian court ruling

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Disgraced social media personality and self-proclaimed crime expert Andrew Tate waited in a Romanian court on Tuesday to serve his 30-day sentence on charges of human trafficking, rape and being part of organized crime. Will give a decision on the arrest appeal. The group

Tate, 36, a British-American with 4.5 million Twitter followers, was initially taken into custody on December 29. For 24 hours with his brother Tristan, who was indicted in the same case. Two Romanian women were also detained.

The four challenged a judge’s Dec. 30 decision to grant a prosecutor’s request to extend the detention period by 30 days. A document explaining the judge’s reasoning said that “the possibility of them evading investigation cannot be ignored,” and that they “could leave Romania and settle in countries that allow extradition.” Don’t give.”

Tate and three other defendants arrived in Bucharest’s appeals court in handcuffs on Tuesday and were taken away in the afternoon. Romanian defense lawyer Eugene Vidanec, representing Tate, told reporters after the morning hearing that “all four accused have given statements” and that “the requests of the lawyers were fully heard.”

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The court has to decide. We look forward to a positive resolution for our clients,” Vidineac said.

A decision on the appeal was expected later Tuesday, Vidineac told The Associated Press.

Tate, a former professional kickboxer, is said to have been living in Romania since 2017, before being banned from various popular social media platforms for posting abusive views and hate speech. . The week of his arrest, he traded insults on Twitter with teenage 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 “physical violence and mental coercion” and sexually abused by members of the alleged crime group.

Victims were lured under the pretense of love, and later intimidated, put under surveillance and subjected to other control tactics while being forced to perform lewd acts, the agency said. The purpose was allegedly to make money for the perpetrators.

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Prosecutors investigating the case have seized 15 luxury cars.At least seven of them are owned by the Tate brothers, and more than 10 properties or land are owned by companies registered with them, DIICOT spokeswoman Ramona Bola said.

Bola said that if prosecutors can prove that Tates obtained the 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.”

If the appeals court upholds the extension of the arrest warrant, prosecutors may request up to 180 days in custody for the four men. If the court accepts the appeal, the defendants may be placed under house arrest or banned from leaving Romania.

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

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One, posted on Sunday and accompanied by a report from Romania that he or his brother needed medical attention since the arrest, read: “The matrix attacked me. But They get it wrong, you can’t kill an idea. It’s hard to kill.”

Another post from Saturday read: “Going to jail for a crime is the story of a criminal’s life … Going to jail for being completely innocent is the story of a hero.”

Hope Not Hate, a UK advocacy group, said it had monitored Tate for years “due to his close links to the far right.” In a report it produced last year, it described the influencer as an “extremely misogynist” who harbors conspiratorial views.

“Our biggest concern is that his brand of extreme and sometimes violent misogyny is reaching a young male audience and could act as a gateway to wider right-wing politics,” Hopenott said. Hatt said in a statement after Facebook’s parents banned Tate. Company meta in August.

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