Andrew Tate, the divisive social media influencer and former professional kickboxer jailed in Romania on suspicion of organized crime and human trafficking, arrived at an appeals court in the capital Bucharest on Monday to challenge a decision made last week, his Detention extended for the third time by 30 days.
Tate, 36, a British-US citizen known for misogynist views and 5.2 million Twitter followers, arrived in Bucharest’s Court of Appeal handcuffed to his brother Tristan, who is being held in the same case. Two Romanian women in the case are also under house arrest.
The Tates, originally arrested in Bucharest in late December, will seek to overturn a judge’s February 21 decision to extend their detention for a third time by 30 days at the request of prosecutors. If the court decides against them on Monday, they will remain in custody until at least the end of March.
The brothers have already lost two previous appeals against previous 30-day extensions that have kept them behind bars while investigations are ongoing. None of the four have been formally charged.
In a document explaining a previous decision to keep them in prison, the judge took into account the “particular dangerousness of the defendants” and their ability to identify victims “with an increased vulnerability in search of better life opportunities”.
Tate, who has lived in Romania since 2017, was previously banned from various social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech. He has repeatedly claimed Romanian prosecutors have no evidence and claimed their case is a “political” conspiracy to silence him.
Romania’s anti-organized crime agency said in a statement following the December arrests that it had identified six victims in the human trafficking case who had been subjected to “acts of physical violence and psychological coercion” and sexually exploited by members of the alleged criminal group be.
The agency said the victims were lured with pretenses of love and were later intimidated, monitored and subjected to other control tactics while being coerced into engaging in pornographic acts for the criminal group’s financial gain.
In January, Romanian authorities entered a compound owned by the Tate brothers near Bucharest and towed away a fleet of luxury cars, including a Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari and a Porsche. They said they seized an estimated $3.9 million worth of assets.
Prosecutors said if they can prove the owners of the cars made money from illegal activities such as human trafficking, the assets would be used to help cover the costs of the investigation and compensate victims. Tate also unsuccessfully appealed the seizure of assets.