BUCHAREST, January 25 (Reuters) – Divisive internet personality Andrew Tate said on Wednesday that 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 held in police custody since December 29 awaiting an ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women, allegations they deny.
On Thursday, a Romanian court extended their detention until February 27. Prosecutors have said the Tate brothers recruited their victims by seducing them and falsely claiming to want a relationship or marriage.
The victims were then taken to properties on the outskirts of the capital Bucharest and sexually exploited through physical violence and mental harassment by being forced to produce pornographic content for social media sites that generated large financial profits, prosecutors said.
They also said Andrew Tate, a former professional kickboxer of American and British nationality, raped one of the victims in March last year, which he has 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 is unjust, unfortunately there is no justice in Romania.”
Asked if he has hurt 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 property as part of the investigation.
“There is no evidence against me,” Tristan Tate told reporters on Wednesday. “The authorities are planning to steal my cars and my money. That’s why I’m in jail.”
Prosecutors have said the seizure was to prevent the assets from being hidden.
The Tates “have confidence in the defense, they have confidence in the evidence in their favor, they have made a detailed statement, they have cooperated (with authorities),” their lawyer Eugen Vidineac told reporters after the interrogation.
“We think the defense is starting to take shape.”
Andrew Tate rose to mainstream fame for misogynistic comments that got him banned from all major social media platforms, though his Twitter account was reinstated in November after Elon Musk took over the social media network.
Reporting by Luiza Ilie and Octav Ganea; Edited by Nick Macfie and Daniel Wallis
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