Former kickboxer Andrew Tate says Romanian prosecutors have no evidence against him

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

Tate, his brother Tristan and two Romanian female suspects have been in police custody since December 29 pending a criminal investigation into allegations they formed a criminal gang to sexually exploit women, charges they deny.

On Thursday, the 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 sexually abused through physical violence and mental intimidation by forcing them to produce pornographic content for social media sites that generated a large financial gain, prosecutors said.

They also said Andrew Tate, a former professional kickboxer who holds US and British citizenship, raped one of the victims in March last year, which he denied.

“They know we did nothing wrong,” Tate told reporters as he was brought in for further questioning by organized crime prosecutors, his first comments to the media since his arrest. “This file is completely empty. Of course it is unfair, unfortunately there is no justice in Romania.”

Asked if he had hurt women, Tate said: “Of course not.”

Earlier this month, Romanian authorities said they had seized 18 million lei ($3.99 million) worth of goods and money, including luxury cars and real estate, as part of the investigation.

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

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

The Tates “are convinced of the defense, they are confident of the evidence in their favor, they have provided a detailed statement, they have cooperated (with the authorities),” their lawyer, Eugen Vidineac, told reporters after the hearing.

“We believe 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 network.

Reporting by Luiz Ilia and Octav Ganea; Edited by Nick Macfie and Daniel Wallis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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