Romania court extends detention of Andrew Tate pending trafficking probe

FILE PHOTO: Andrew Tate and Tristan Tate are escorted by police officers outside the headquarters of the Bucharest Court of Appeal, in Bucharest, Romania, February 1, 2023. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS/File Photo

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Social media personality Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan will remain in police custody until late-April pending an investigation into alleged sex trafficking as a Romanian court extended their detention, their legal team said on Wednesday.

The Tate brothers, who have dual U.S. and British nationality, and two Romanian female suspects have been in detention since Dec. 29 as prosecutors investigate them for suspected human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women. They have denied all the accusations.

Wednesday's extension, the fourth since they were detained, comes days after the court denied the brothers' request to be released on bail, a decision they have appealed.

Prosecutors, who have argued the Tates posed a flight risk and that they would interfere with the evidence if released, can ask courts to extend suspects' detention for up to 180 days.

"The prosecution did not manage to bring any new element to support extending the preventative arrest measure, we are ... at the same stage we were at the start of this case," defence lawyer Ioan Gliga told reporters.

"The criminal investigation in this case is stalling unjustifiably long."

Lawyers also said they would appeal against Wednesday's ruling.

Andrew Tate gained mainstream notoriety for misogynistic remarks that got him banned from all major social media platforms, although his Twitter account was reinstated after Elon Musk acquired the social media network.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie,; Editing by Alison Williams)

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