Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan were handcuffed together as they arrived at court this morning to appeal their 30-day detention in Romania.
Tate, his brother Tristan and two Romanian female suspects were detained by Romanian anti-organized crime prosecutors last month pending a criminal investigation into alleged human trafficking and the formation of an organized crime group.
The Tate brothers, who are both former kickboxers, have denied wrongdoing through an attorney and have challenged the arrest warrant. They are accused of seducing their victims with the promise of a relationship. Prosecutors allege the victims were exploited by being forced to produce pornographic content for social media.
The brothers first appeared in court between Christmas and New Year when the judge approved their arrest and said: “The possibility that the suspects would evade investigation, leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition has given their financial possibilities and public comments to that regard cannot be ignored.”
Prosecutors have also seized 15 luxury vehicles and over 10 properties and homes belonging to the suspects in Romania while they could seek an extension of Tate’s detention for up to 180 days. The brothers, meanwhile, want to be released from their detention and will argue there is no evidence with which to hold them.
Eugen Vidineac, who represents both brothers, told the 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 Tate’s Twitter account, Mr. Vidineac said it took the Tate brothers “some time to understand” why they were in custody.
Mr Vidineac told Gandul the defense 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 defense 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 offense, 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 offenses provided for and punishable by criminal law.
“In this case we are talking about human trafficking and organized crime.”