Romania detains Andrew Tate over UK sex offence charges

Romania detains Andrew Tate over UK sex offence charges
Romania detains Andrew Tate over UK sex offence charges

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - During the court hearing, Andrew Tate rejected the allegations brought against him in the UK as 'sloppy' and over 10 years old', saying he and his brother did not want to be extradited. — AFP

BUCHAREST, March 12 — Controversial British-American influencer Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan appeared in a Bucharest court today after Romanian police detained them over UK sex offence charges.

The brothers were arrested last evening at their home near the capital Bucharest, where they are under judicial supervision in a separate case, and appeared at an appeals court today, dressed in black.

Romanian authorities said in a statement they had executed “two European arrest warrants issued by the UK judicial authorities for the committing of sexual offences, of exploitation of persons on the territory of the UK”.

A Bucharest appeals court is expected to decide this evening at the latest whether to extend their detention.

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During the court hearing, Andrew Tate rejected the allegations brought against him in the UK as “sloppy” and “over 10 years old”, saying he and his brother did not want to be extradited.

“I want to finish the trial in Romania first,” he told the judge.

“It is very important to me that I show the world I was innocent all along.”

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Speaking at the Bucharest court before the hearing, the Tates’ lawyer Eugen Vidineac claimed the warrants were not admissible because the brothers were awaiting trial in Romania on separate charges.

Earlier today, the brother’s spokesperson Mateea Petrescu said that the charges in the British case date back to “2012-2015” and “include allegations of sexual aggression”.

She said the Westminster Magistrates Court issued the warrants.

The charges were “dismissed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 2017-2019” but have now “resurfaced”, Petrescu added.

Potential escape plans

Petrescu said that the 37-year-old former kickboxer and his brother Tristan, 35, “unequivocally deny all allegations and decry what they perceive as an exploitative use of the legal system”.

In June 2023, lawyers for four women threatened Andrew Tate with a lawsuit in the British courts over allegations of sexual assault, serving him with legal papers by UK law firm McCue Jury and Partners.

The women, now in their late twenties and early thirties, say the offences took place in the 2010s, when Tate was based in Britain.

The British law firm representing the women said that the allegations included “violent rapes, serious physical assault, and controlling and coercive behaviour”.

In a statement today, the law firm welcomed their detention, citing recent information that they “might have been planning to flee Romania”.

“We wrote to the British police to bring this to their attention and to urge them to immediately seek a warrant for Tate’s detention in Romania and extradition to the UK,” the firm added.

Lawyer Vidineac dismissed the claim of such plans as “an absolute fantasy”.

Cobratate’s huge following

Tate—a self-described misogynist with a large online presence—is awaiting trial in Romania along with his brother on separate charges of human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal group to sexually exploit women.

The two men, who claim they are innocent, are suspected of having formed an organised criminal network in early 2021 in Romania, as well as in the United States and Britain.

They allegedly coerced women into forced labour and pornographic acts for “substantial financial benefits”.

At the end of 2022 they were arrested in Romania and spent three months in detention.

In 2016, Tate appeared on the “Big Brother” reality television show in Britain but was removed after a video emerged showing him attacking a woman.

He then turned to social media platforms to promote his divisive views.

Giving tips on how to be successful, along with misogynistic and sometimes violent maxims, Tate’s videos have made him one of the world’s best-known influencers.

His account “Cobratate” on X has almost nine million followers. — AFP

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