Ex-kickboxer Andrew Tate says Romanian prosecutors have no evidence against him

BUCHAREST, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Andrew Tate, a controversial internet personality, said on Wednesday there was no justice in Romania and the case against him in a criminal investigation for human trafficking and rape was empty.

Tate, her brother Tristan and two Romanian suspects have been in police custody since December 29 pending an ongoing criminal investigation into charges of forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women, charges they deny .

On Thursday, a Romanian court extended their detention until February 27. Prosecutors said the Tate brothers recruited their victims by seducing them and falsely claiming they wanted a relationship or marriage.

The victims were then taken to properties on the outskirts of the capital Bucharest and, through physical abuse and mental intimidation, were sexually exploited by being forced to produce pornographic content for social media sites which generated ‘significant financial gains,’ prosecutors said.

They also said that Andrew Tate, a former professional kickboxer with American and British nationality, raped one of the victims in March last year, which he denied.

“They know we didn’t do anything wrong,” Tate told reporters as he was brought in for further questioning by organized crime prosecutors, the first comments to the media since his arrest. “This file is completely empty. Of course it’s unfair, unfortunately there is no justice in Romania.”

Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan are escorted by police officers outside the seat of the Bucharest Court of Appeal, in Bucharest, Romania, January 10, 2023. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS

When asked if he had hurt any women, Tate replied, “Of course not.”

Earlier this month, Romanian authorities said they seized goods and cash worth 18 million lei ($3.99 million), including luxury cars and properties in the framework of the investigation.

“There is no evidence against me,” Tristan Tate told reporters on Wednesday. “The authorities are planning to steal my cars and steal my money. That’s why I’m in jail.”

Prosecutors said the seizure was intended to prevent the concealment of assets.

The Tates “have confidence in the defense, they have confidence in the evidence in their favor, they have given a detailed statement, they have cooperated (with the authorities),” their lawyer Eugen Vidineac told reporters after the questioning.

“We think the defense is starting to take shape.”

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

Reporting by Luiza Ilie and Octav Ganea; Editing by Nick Macfie and Daniel Wallis

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