(Bucharest) The Bucharest court on Tuesday rejected the request for the release of British masculinist influencer Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan, arrested at the end of December in Romania in a pimping case.
“They remain in detention,” said a spokeswoman for the prosecution in charge of the fight against organized crime (DIICOT), Ramona Bolla.
The two former kick-boxers, aged 36 and 34 respectively, had pleaded their case earlier in court, during a closed-door hearing lasting several hours.
Arrived in a police van in the early morning, they appeared handcuffed, dressed all in black, AFP journalists noted.
At the exit, their lawyer Eugen Vidineac wanted to be “confident”, but in the evening, the court ruled “unfounded” the appeals filed.
Accused by the prosecution of “constitution of an organized criminal group, human trafficking and rape”, the Tate brothers had appealed against their pre-trial detention, ordered on December 30 for a period of 30 days.
The judges had invoked a “risk of absconding” and a “danger to public order in view of the gravity of the crimes” charged.
Six potential victims have been identified at this stage. Duped by the two men who feigned feelings for them, they would have been forced by violence into prostitution and the production of pornographic films, and for some sequestered.
For mee Vidineac, “there is not a single piece of evidence to suggest that a crime of rape has been committed”. He also rejects the other charges and has promised to “bring out the truth”, according to comments recently made in local media.
The prosecution, which has been investigating for many months, had searched several properties of the Tate brothers at the end of December.
Two of their relatives, of Romanian nationality, were also arrested and remain behind bars.
Andrew Tate, who has a US passport, had appeared on the TV show Big Brother in 2016. He was eliminated from the competition after a video emerged showing him punching a woman.
He then turned to social networks where he had promoted masculinist theses, believing in particular that women victims of sexual abuse should be held responsible.
His Twitter account was then suspended before being reactivated in the wake of the takeover of the network by Elon Musk.
Now followed by 4.5 million people, the influencer was noticed shortly before his arrest by a very lively and extensively commented exchange with the Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg.
Shaved head, well-trimmed beard and bulging muscles, he claims to be a multimillionaire and gives advice to men to help them become rich via “Hustler University”, a paid coaching website which claims more than 160,000 customers.
Many of the men’s assets, including their collection of luxury cars, were placed under seal.