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Influencer Andrew Tate fights Romania house arrest

Influencer Andrew Tate and his brother appeared in court in Romania Wednesday, their lawyers arguing that the pair, indicted on human trafficking charges, should no longer be under house arrest.

Tate — a self-described misogynist with a large online presence whose case has garnered international attention — has also been indicted on rape charges, according to a source close to the case.

Tate, his brother and two Romanian women were detained late last year and then placed under house arrest at the end of March. They have repeatedly challenged the order to keep them under house arrest.

Flanked by bodyguards, the brothers arrived at the court for a fresh hearing on the matter, a day after prosecutors announced their indictment.

“They categorically don’t want to remain under house arrest,” their lawyer Ioan Gliga told reporters, adding the measure was “unjustified”.

The court is expected to rule on the matter on June 23. It is not yet clear when their trial will start.

Prosecutors allege that the two brothers and the two women set up a criminal organisation and sexually exploited several victims “through acts of physical violence and psychological coercion”.

The victims were forced “to engage in pornographic acts with a view to producing and disseminating such material via social media platforms,” they said.

Tate, a former kickboxer with dual US and UK citizenship, said he was “looking forward to being found innocent at the end of everything”.

“We are not the first affluent wealthy men who have been unfairly attacked,” the 36-year-old told reporters. “In our situation it happens quite often, unfortunately.”

Tate moved to Romania years ago, after first starting a webcam business in the UK.

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. He currently has 6.9 million followers on Twitter.

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

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