Controversial social media personality Andrew Tate has lost a bid to end his detention in Romania.
He appeared in court in Romania’s capital on Tuesday to appeal a judge’s decision to extend his arrest on crime gang, human trafficking and rape charges to 30 days.
The controversial social media influencer was detained on December 29 north of the capital, Bucharest, along with his brother Tristan, who has also been charged. Two Romanian suspects are also in custody.
All four of them challenged the arrest extension that was granted to prosecutors on December 30.
But police will continue to hold the group for their 30-day period, after a court rejected the appeal.
A document explaining the judge’s motivation for the extension says “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored” and that they could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition”.
Eugen Vidineac, the Romanian lawyer representing Tate, told The Associated Press earlier told journalists after a morning hearing that “all four of the accused have made statements” and “the lawyers’ pleas were listened to entirely”.
Romania’s anti-organised crime agency DIICOT said after the late December raids that it had identified six victims in the case who were subjected by the group to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and were sexually exploited by group members.
The agency said victims were lured by pretences of love, and later intimidated and subjected to other controlling tactics into performing pornographic acts intended to reap substantial financial gains.
British-US citizen Tate, 36, who has amassed 4.4 million followers on Twitter and who is reported to have lived in Romania since 2017, has previously been banned from various prominent social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech.
Prosecutors have seized a total of 15 luxury cars – at least seven of which are owned by the Tate brothers – and more than 10 properties or land owned by companies registered to them, said Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for DIICOT.
She said that if prosecutors can prove they gained money through human trafficking, the property “will be taken by the state and (will) cover the expenses of the investigation and damages to the victims”.
Prosecutors can now request detention for a maximum of 180 days.