Romania releases influencer Andrew Tate from house arrest awaiting trial

The self-described misogynist, who is charged with rape and human trafficking, will not be able to leave the country.

Andrew Tate gives a thumbs up
Andrew Tate gives a thumbs up upon exiting the Court of Appeal in Bucharest [File: Andreea Alexandru/AP]

Andrew Tate, the divisive internet influencer who is charged in Romania with rape, human trafficking and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women, has won an appeal to be released from house arrest, according to his spokesperson.

Tate will not be able to leave the country despite Friday’s court ruling.

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He also will not be allowed to be “in close proximity with any of the other defendants, any of the witnesses or any of the alleged victims and their immediate family”, his spokesperson, Mateea Petrescu, said in a statement.

“This positive outcome gives us confidence that more favorable developments are on the horizon,” Petrescu said.

The decision at the Bucharest Court of Appeal comes after prosecutors formally indicted the 36-year-old Tate in June along with his brother, Tristan, 34, and two Romanian women in the same case.

All four were arrested in late December near Bucharest and have denied the allegations against them.

Andrew Tate
Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan are escorted by police officers outside the Bucharest Court of Appeal [File: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via Reuters]

The court’s decision says all four defendants will be subjected to geographical restrictions limiting them to the territories of Bucharest municipality and the nearby Ilfov county unless they get prior approval from a judge.

“After 10 months. 3 in jail, 7 at home. After 15 million euro of asset seizures. After an inditement based on nothing. The file was passed to a Judge who has ruled it weak and circumstantial. I have been released from house arrest but must remain within Romania,” a post on Andrew Tate’s X, formerly known as Twitter, read after Friday’s ruling.

If the defendants violate the terms of their judicial obligations, the court reading states, they can be returned to house arrest or preventive arrest.

The Tate brothers, who are dual United Kingdom and United States citizens, challenged a court’s July 18 decision to keep them under house arrest as the criminal case against them continues.

The brothers won an appeal in late March to be moved to house arrest after spending three months in a police detention facility.

Romania’s anti-organised crime agency, DIICOT, had requested in June that judges extend the house arrest measure after the agency filed its criminal investigation.

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Andrew Tate, who has been accused of peddling conspiracy theories online and has amassed 7.5 million X followers, has repeatedly claimed that prosecutors have no evidence against him and that there is a political conspiracy designed to silence him.

DIICOT alleges that the four defendants formed a criminal group in 2021 to “commit the crime of human trafficking” in Romania, as well as in the US and Britain.

Seven female victims in the case, DIICOT said, were lured with false pretences of love and transported to Romania, where the gang sexually exploited and subjected them to physical violence.

One defendant is accused of raping a woman twice in March 2022, according to the agency.

The women were allegedly controlled by “intimidation, constant surveillance” and claims they were in debt, prosecutors said.

Andrew Tate was previously banned from several prominent social media platforms for expressing hate speech and misogynistic comments, including that women should bear responsibility for being sexually assaulted.

Several women in Britain also are pursuing civil claims to obtain damages from Tate, alleging they were victims of sexual violence.

Source: News Agencies