Romanian court rules trial can start for Andrew Tate on charges of human trafficking and rape

26 April 2024, 15:29 | Updated: 26 April 2024, 15:50

Andrew Tate  and his brother Tristan will stand trial over rape & human trafficking charges in Romania
Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan will stand trial over rape & human trafficking charges in Romania. Picture: Alamy

By Flaminia Luck

A court in Romania has ruled that a trial can start in the case of influencer Andrew Tate, who is charged with human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women.

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On Friday, the Bucharest Tribunal ruled that prosecutors' case file against Tate met the legal criteria - but did not set a date for the trial to begin.

Tate's spokeswoman, Mateea Petrescu, said the ruling will be appealed.

The former wrestler was arrested in December 2022 near Bucharest with his brother Tristan Tate and two Romanian women.

Romanian prosecutors formally indicted all four - who deny the allegations - in June last year.

The brothers were arrested in March 2024
The brothers were arrested in March 2024. Picture: Getty

Read More: Andrew Tate and his brother to be extradited to UK to face rape and human trafficking allegations

Read More: Andrew Tate and brother Tristan lose bid to return to UK after mum suffers heart attack

The Tate brothers, both former kickboxers with dual US and UK citizenship, are the highest profile suspects facing trial for human trafficking in Romania and their case will be a

Trafficking of adults carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, as does rape.

The Tate 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, when courts placed them under judicial control, a lighter preventative measure that enables them to move around freely but not leave the country.

Read more: Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf defiantly says he will not resign as he faces No Confidence vote

Before the court's decision on Friday, the legal case had been discussed for months in the preliminary chamber stages, a process in which defendants can challenge prosecutors' evidence and case file.

Tate, who has amassed 9.1 million followers on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, has repeatedly claimed that prosecutors in Romania have no evidence against him and that there is a political conspiracy to silence him.

Tate was previously banned from various prominent social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views as well as for hate speech.

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