Online misogynist Andrew Tate has lost his appeal against a judge’s decision to extent his arrest period from 24 hours to 30 days on charges of being part of an organized crime group, human trafficking and rape.
Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for Romanian anti-organized crime agency DIICOT, said a Bucharest appeals court late on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Mr Tate, his co-accused brother Tristan and two Romanian women arrested in the same police operation.
Prosecutors can now request detentions of up to 180 days for the four suspects. If the court grants the appeal, the defendants could be put under house arrest or banned from leaving Romania.
A document explaining the judge’s reasoning in rejecting their appeal said there was a possibility they could avoid the investigation and flee Romania to countries that would not allow extradition.
Mr Tate, a controversial 36-year-old social media influencer with more than 4.4 million Twitter followers, was initially detained on 29 December in an area north of Bucharest along with the other three suspects.
Eugen Vidineac, a Romanian defense lawyer representing the defendants, said after the hearing that “all four of the accused have made statements” and that “the lawyers’ pleas were listened to entirely.”
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 pretenses of love, and later intimidated, surveilled, and subjected to other control tactics into performing pornographic acts intended to reap substantial financial gains.
Prosecutors investigating the case have so far 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.
Mr Tate is reported to have lived in Romania since 2017. He was previously banned from Twitter for expressing misogynistic views, but was recently reinstated.
Since Mr Tate’s arrest, a series of ambiguous posts have appeared on his Twitter account, with posts continuing during his appeal hearing on Tuesday.
One, posted on Sunday and accompanied by a local report suggesting he or his brother have required medical care since their detention, reads: “The Matrix has attacked me. But they misunderstand, you cannot kill an idea. Hard to Kill.”
One tweet, 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.”
Hope not Hate, a British advocacy group, said it monitored Mr Tate for years “because of his close links to the far right.” It described the influencer in a report it produced last year as an “extreme misogynist” who holds conspiratorial views.
“Our major concern is that his brand of extreme and sometimes violent misogyny is reaching a young male audience and that he could serve as a gateway to wider far-right politics,” Hope not Hate said in a statement after Mr Tate was banned by Facebook. parent company Meta in August.
Associated Press contributed to this report