Romanian court denies Andrew Tate's request to be released on bail

Andrew Tate talks to media representatives while being loaded inside a van outside the headquarters of the Bucharest Court of Appel, in Bucharest, Romania, February 1, 2023. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A Romanian court on Tuesday denied social media personality Andrew Tate's request to be released on bail from police custody pending a criminal investigation into alleged sex trafficking.

Tate, his brother Tristan and two Romanian female suspects have been under police detention since Dec. 29 as prosecutors investigate them for suspected human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women, accusations they have denied.

The Bucharest court said Tate’s request to have police custody replaced with a restricted release on bail was "inadmissible in principle".

His defence team said they were "disappointed in this outcome" and that they will appeal the ruling.

The court will rule on a similar request filed by Tristan Tate on March 15.

Prosecutors have said the Tate brothers recruited 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.

Romanian courts have extended the detention of the Tate brothers, who have dual U.S. and British nationality until March 29 and prosecutors are expected to ask for another extension when the term expires.

Prosecutors can ask Romanian courts to extend suspects' detention for up to 180 days.

Tate, who has been based mainly in Romania since 2017, is an online influencer and self-described misogynist who has built up a following of millions of fans, particularly among young men drawn to his hyper-macho image.

While in detention, Tate has made multi-pronged attempts to defend himself, including trying to recruit lawmakers to his cause and attempting to intimidate some of his alleged victims, according to wiretaps of his phone calls submitted to the court by prosecutors.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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