The lawyer representing Andrew Tate has said there is “no evidence” to support allegations of human trafficking, rape or organised crime against the social media influencer or his co-accused.
The former professional kickboxer turned controversial online personality, 36, and his brother Tristan, who grew up in Luton, Bedfordshire, were detained in Romania last month as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation.
Eugen Vidineac, who represents both brothers, told Romanian online newspaper Gandul he believed the character someone like Tate portrays on social media could not be “used as evidence in a criminal trial” as it may not reflect who they are in real life.
In a video with translated subtitles posted on Andrew Tate’s Twitter account, Mr Vidineac said it took the Tate brothers “some time to understand” why they were in custody.
On Thursday, Romanian authorities seized four more luxury cars ahead of a court appearance in Bucharest on Tuesday, after 11 vehicles were previously taken in raids.
At least seven of the seized cars are registered to the Tate brothers.
Romanian anti-organised crime agency DIICOT said two British citizens and two Romanians were suspected of being part of a criminal group focused on human trafficking.
Their appeals will be heard against a judge’s decision to extend their arrest warrants from 24 hours to 30 days, DIICOT added.
The Tate brothers, who Mr Vidineac said are not married but have children in Romania, will also appeal against the seizure of some of their belongings.
Mr Vidineac told Gandul the defence had not been given the opportunity to study the prosecution file for the case.
The lawyer said several electronic devices were seized in April last year which were subject to computer searches.
He added: “I will point this out from the beginning, that even up to the present moment, the criminal investigation file has not been made available to us to ensure the effective defence of our clients.
“In this sense, I would like to point out, at least from this point of view, I am also somehow amazed, there is not a single piece of evidence apart from the victim’s statement that leads to the idea that a crime of rape was committed.”
Asked what evidence there was in support of a human trafficking offence, Mr Vidineac said: “In my view, there is no evidence there either, and I’m talking about evidence leading, by itself or directly, to the formation of an opinion of reasonable suspicion regarding the commission of offences provided for and punishable by criminal law.
“In this case we are talking about human trafficking and organised crime.”
Mr Vidineac said the documents they had seen did not “accurately describe the hierarchy of the group, the functions of each person, who was part of this alleged criminal group”.
He said the documents also did not “comply with the legal requirements concerning the way in which the offence of human trafficking is committed”.
Speaking about claims the men had contempt for women, Mr Vidineac said: “They say that these issues are ripped out of context, out of some interviews they have done on social media.
“But they also say, if we live our lives surrounded by over 300 people, women and men, we have a lot of girlfriends and supporters all over the world, we’ve been out in public all the time with our girlfriends and there have been no complaints from our girlfriends.
“People have come out in public and said that they’ve been with one of the Tate brothers and he’s not a violent, uneducated, abusive character as he is being portrayed at this point.”
Speaking about what role social media may play in the case, Mr Vidineac said: “In the case of the Tate brothers, I don’t know what their intent was in promoting themselves on social media, but I sit here and wonder, can that intent from the social media stand as evidence in a criminal prosecution case, with respect to a criminal character?”