Controversial influencer Andrew Tate loses appeal to end detention

Controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate will remain under arrest after losing an appeal. British-American Tate, 36, is in custody in Romania with his brother, Tristan, 34, as part of an investigation into allegations of human trafficking and rape, which they deny.

They were initially arrested for 24 hours on December 29 with two female Romanian suspects, but a judge extended this to 30 days.

Former kickboxer Tate, who has 4.5 million followers on Twitter, arrived at Bucharest’s Court of Appeal in handcuffs on Tuesday with the three other defendants.

The court rejected all four appeals against a judge’s December 30 decision to grant prosecutors’ request to extend the arrest period.

A document explaining the judge’s reasoning said “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored,” and that they could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition.”

Investigators said after the arrests they have identified six people who were allegedly “sexually exploited” by what it described as an “organized criminal group”.

The Tates’ lawyer, Eugen Vidineac, told local media after the ruling: “I am very disappointed – the measure seems excessive to me.”

Prosecutors investigating the case have seized 15 luxury cars, at least seven of which were owned by the Tate brothers, and more than 10 properties or land owned by companies registered to them.

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

The agency said victims were lured by pretenses of love, and later intimidated, kept under surveillance and subjected to other control tactics while being coerced into performing pornographic acts that were intended to make money for the alleged persecutors.

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After the appeals court upheld the arrest warrant extension, prosecutors can now request detentions of up to 180 days for the four people charged.

Since Tate’s arrest, a series of ambiguous posts have appeared on his Twitter account.

One, posted Sunday and accompanied by a Romanian report suggesting he or his brother have required medical care since their arrests, read: “The Matrix has attacked me. But they misunderstand, you cannot kill an idea. Hard to Kill.”

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

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