Andrew Tate human trafficking trial can start, says Romania court

The brothers, who say they are innocent, are accused of having formed an organised criminal network in early 2021 in Romania, as well as in the US and Britain

By AFP

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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Published: Fri 26 Apr 2024, 7:24 PM

A Bucharest court on Friday gave the green light for the start of the human trafficking trial of controversial influencer Andrew Tate after rejecting as "unfounded" the claims lodged by the defendants.

The Bucharest Tribunal said in a decision Friday that it has "established the legality of the administration of evidence and the execution of acts by the criminal prosecution authorities and orders the start of the trial".


It added that it "dismisses as unfounded the claims and exceptions put forward by the defendants".

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However, no date has yet been set.

Following the court ruling, the legal team of Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan said it had filed an appeal, calling the decision "unlawful".

The brothers, who say they are innocent, are accused of having formed an organised criminal network in early 2021 in Romania, as well as in the United States and Britain.

They face charges of human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal group to sexually exploit women.

They allegedly coerced women into forced labour and pornographic acts for "substantial financial benefits".

The 37-year-old former kickboxer and his brother Tristan, 35, were arrested at the end of 2022 and spent three months in detention in Bucharest.

In June 2023 they were indicted, and have since not been allowed to leave Romania.

In March, the brothers were temporarily arrested in a separate case in Romania on a European arrest warrant, issued following a request from Bedfordshire Police in southern England.

The warrant resulted from "an ongoing investigation into allegations of rape and human trafficking", the force said, after complaints were lodged by several women in Britain.

A Romanian judge ordered the Tate brothers be sent to the UK to face the latest accusations, but only once after a separate Romanian criminal case against them is finished.

In 2016, Tate appeared on the "Big Brother" reality television show in Britain but was removed after a video emerged showing him attacking a woman.

He then turned to social media platforms to promote his divisive views.

Giving tips on how to be successful, along with misogynistic and sometimes violent maxims, Tate's videos have made him one of the world's best-known influencers.

His account "Cobratate" on X has more than nine million followers.

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