Romanian court upholds arrest of influencer Andrew Tate

ITV News' Chloe Keedy reports on the appeal hearing of Andrew Tate in Romania

Social media personality Andrew Tate has lost his appeal against a judge’s earlier decision to extend his arrest period from 24 hours to 30 days.

Tate, a 36-year-old British-US citizen who has amassed 4.4 million followers on Twitter, has been charged with being part of an organised crime group, human trafficking and rape.

Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for Romanian anti-organized crime agency DIICOT, said the court rejected an appeal by Tate on Tuesday.

The influencer was initially detained on December 29 in an area north of the capital Bucharest along with his brother Tristan, who is charged in the same case. Two Romanian suspects are also in custody.

As the court has ruled to uphold the arrest warrant extension on Tuesday, prosecutors could now request detention for a maximum of 180 days.

All four suspects had challenged a judge's decision on December 30 to grant the prosecutors' request to extend the arrest period to 30 days.

A document explaining the judge’s motivation for the extension says “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored,” and that they could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition”.

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.

Andrew Tate arrives for the appeal hearing

The agency said victims were lured by pretences 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, said Ms Bolla.

Ms Bolla added that if prosecutors can prove they gained money through human trafficking, the property "will be taken by the state and (will) cover the expenses of the investigation and damages to the victims”.

Romanian authorities share video of a raid following the arrest of Andrew Tate

Andrew Tate’s lawyer speaks after appeal hearing

Tate and the other three defendants arrived at Bucharest’s Court of Appeal in handcuffs Tuesday and were taken away in the afternoon.

Eugen Vidineac, a Romanian defence lawyer representing Tate, told journalists after a morning hearing that “all four of the accused have made statements” and that “the lawyers' pleas were listened to entirely.”

Ioan Gliga (left) and Eugen Vidineac (right) both Romanian lawyers, with Andrew Ford a British lawyer for Andrew Tate. Credit: AP

What has Andrew Tate said?

Since Tate’s arrest, a series of ambiguous posts have appeared on his Twitter account, each of which garnered widespread media attention.

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.”

Another post, that appeared Saturday, reads: “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.”

Tate, who is reported to have lived in Romania since 2017, has previously been banned from various prominent social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.