Andrew Tate and brother to be tried on trafficking charges in Romania, court rules

Influencers charged with rape and forming sex-exploitation gang say they will appeal against go-ahead

Jane Dalton
Friday 26 April 2024 17:02 BST
Romanian authorities ramp up charges against Andrew Tate

Controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate can be tried on human-trafficking charges, a Romanian court has ruled.

A spokesman for the self-described misogynist said he would challenge the decision, which came 10 months since he was charged.

Tate, along with his brother Tristan and two Romanian female suspects, was charged in June with human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women – allegations they have denied.

The Tates were charged last year
The Tates were charged last year (AFP via Getty Images)

Under Romanian law, the case sat with the Bucharest court’s preliminary chamber, which needed to inspect the case files and evidence to ensure legality. That process was now completed and the criminal trial can start.

“The court notes the legality of evidence management by ... prosecutors, and rules that the case can go to trial,” the Bucharest court said, adding that the ruling could be challenged on appeal.

The Tates’ representatives said no date had been set for the trial, but said the brothers would appeal against the ruling.

In March, a Romanian court approved a request from Britain to extradite the brothers on allegations of sexual aggression dating back to 2012-15, but only after the Romanian trial proceedings had finished.

The Tates, both former kickboxers with dual US and British citizenship, are the highest profile suspects facing trial for human trafficking in Romania, and their case will be a test for Romania’s anti-organised crime unit, DIICOT.

Trafficking of adults and rape both carry prison sentences of up to 10 years.

The brothers were held in police custody during the criminal investigation from late December 2022 until April 2023, to prevent them from fleeing the country or tampering with evidence.

They were then under house arrest until August.

Romanian prosecutors have said the Tates recruited their victims by seducing them and falsely claiming to want a relationship or marriage.

The victims were then taken to properties outside the capital, Bucharest, and through physical violence and mental intimidation were sexually exploited by being forced to produce pornographic content for social media sites that generated large financial gain, prosecutors said.

Andrew Tate has gained millions of fans by promoting an ultra-masculine lifestyle that critics say denigrates women.

His accounts have been removed from TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.

Charities against violence on women have warned that Tate’s videos could have a harmful effect on young boys and men.

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