Romanian court rejects Andrew Tate's appeal against detention
BUCHAREST, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Divisive internet personality Andrew Tate will remain in police custody until Feb. 27 after a Bucharest court rejected his appeal against his detention on Wednesday.
Tate, his brother Tristan and two Romanian female suspects have been in police custody since Dec. 29 pending a criminal investigation into alleged human trafficking and rape and charges of forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women. They have denied the accusations.
Their detention was extended until the end of this month on Jan. 20. On Wednesday a Bucharest court upheld the decision and rejected Tate's appeal. Prosecutors can ask Romanian courts to extend the suspects' detention for up to 180 days.
Under Romanian legislation, prosecutors have filed charges against the four suspects, but the case is still under investigation and has not gone to trial.
"You know I'm innocent," Tate told reporters as he was taken inside the courtroom earlier in the day. Asked whether he was hoping to be released on Wednesday, he said, "There is not much justice in Romania."
Prosecutors have said the Tate brothers recruited their alleged victims by seducing them and falsely claiming to want a relationship or marriage. The victims were then coerced to produce pornographic content for social media sites that generated large financial gain, prosecutors said.
Tate's defence lawyers have said prosecutors had no real evidence and have asked the judge to consider placing the suspects under house arrest rather than police detention.
"They asked the court for their freedom based on the lack of evidence against them and the lack of any criminal history," Tina Glandian, an American lawyer the Tates brought on their legal team as an advisor told reporters.
Andrew Tate gained mainstream notoriety for misogynistic remarks that got him banned from all major social media platforms, although his Twitter account was reinstated in November after Elon Musk acquired the social media giant.
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