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Andrew Tate loses appeal to relax judicial restrictions as he awaits human trafficking, rape trial

Andrew Tate, left, and his brother Tristan, right, wait inside the Court of Appeals building in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, May 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru) Andrew Tate, left, and his brother Tristan, right, wait inside the Court of Appeals building in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, May 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
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Bucharest, Romania -

Andrew Tate, the divisive social media influencer awaiting trial in Romania on charges of human trafficking and rape, lost an appeal Thursday to have the court relax geographical restrictions preventing him from traveling outside the eastern European country.

The Bucharest Court of Appeal ruled against Tate, who had challenged a May 10 decision that extended by 60 days restrictions on the 37-year-old stipulating he may not leave the country. Tate had requested that he be able to leave Romania, provided he stay within Europe’s ID-check-free Schengen zone, which Romania partially joined in March.

“It’s not about wanting to leave the country," Eugen Vidineac, one of Tate’s lawyers, told reporters at the court. “One thing is to travel free and another is to leave the country. The right to travel is a constitutional right, it is a legal right, it is one of the fundamental rights.”

Tate, a former professional kickboxer and dual British-U.S. citizen, was initially arrested in December 2022 near Bucharest, Romania's capital, along with his brother Tristan and two Romanian women. Romanian prosecutors formally indicted all four in June last year. They have denied the allegations.

After the brothers’ arrest, they were held for three months in police detention before being moved to house arrest. They were later restricted to the Bucharest municipality and nearby Ilfov county, but may now travel freely within Romania.

Andrew Tate, who has amassed 9.3 million followers on the social media platform X, has repeatedly claimed that prosecutors have no evidence against him and that there is a political conspiracy to silence him. He was previously banned from various prominent social media platforms for allegedly expressing misogynistic views and for hate speech.

On April 26, the Bucharest Tribunal ruled in favor of the prosecutors’ case against Tate, saying it met the legal criteria and that the trial could proceed. However, no date was set. That ruling came after the legal case had been discussed for months in the preliminary chamber stages, a process in which the defendants can challenge prosecutors’ evidence and case file.

In a separate case, Tate is also facing a civil lawsuit by four British women in the United Kingdom, after a claim issued by the High Court in London, according to a statement earlier this month by the law firm representing the four women.

The four allege Tate sexually and physically assaulted them and had reported him to British authorities in 2014 and 2015. After a four-year investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service decided in 2019 not to prosecute him. The alleged victims then turned to crowdfunding to pursue a civil case against him.

In a separate, third case, the Tate brothers also appeared in March at the Bucharest Court of Appeal after British authorities issued arrest warrants over allegations of sexual aggression in a U.K. case dating back to 2012-2015.

The appeals court granted the British request to extradite the Tates to the U.K., but only after legal proceedings in Romania have concluded.

McGrath reported from Sighisoara, Romania.

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