Court approves UK’s extradition request of online influencer Andrew Tate and his brother

A Romanian court has approved a British request to extradite internet personality Andrew Tate and his brother, but only after local legal proceedings have finished.

The pair are under house arrest in the town of Voluntari, near Bucharest, where they are awaiting a separate criminal trial on allegations rape, human trafficking and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women.

Andrew, 37, and his brother Tristan, were detained on Monday after UK police obtained an international arrest warrant from Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The pair’s spokesperson, Mateea Petrescu, said they had been accused of sex offences in Britain dating between 2012 and 2015.

They fronted the Bucharest Court of Appeal on Tuesday, where a judge ruled they should be extradited, but only after their case against them in Romania had been finalised.

The judge also ruled the siblings should be released from custody.

“We appreciate the Bucharest Court of Appeal’s decision to postpone the extradition of Andrew and Tristan Tate,” the pair’s lawyer Eugen Vidineac, said outside court, in a statement.

“This ruling provides an opportunity for the brothers to participate fully in their defence and for the legal process to proceed in a transparent manner.”

Andrew Tate is escorted in handcuffs by a balaclava-clad police officer from a court building

A police officer escorts Andrew Tate, left, from the Court of Appeal in Bucharest, Romania, on Tuesday.(AP: Andreea Alexandru)

Four women have previously reported Mr Tate to the UK authorities for alleged sexual violence and physical abuse, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue the case.

The alleged victims then turned to crowdfunding to cover their legal costs as they pursue a civil case against him, and last year announced plans to initiate proceedings in the high court in London.

“We handed over our evidence about the horrific acts of violence we endured and waited for action. But four years later we were told the UK authorities would not prosecute him,” they state on their campaign page.

“It’s our one remaining route to hold him accountable.”

Andrew Tate wearing sunglasses walks with brother Tristan

Andrew Tate’s spokesperson says the brothers reject the charges.(AP: Andreea Alexandru)

Ms Petrescu said on Tuesday that the Tate brothers rejected the British accusations and “express profound disappointment that such serious allegations are being resurrected without substantial new evidence”.

Speaking after being released from temporary custody, Andrew Tate said he and his brother were innocent.

“We’re very innocent men and in time everybody’s going to see that and we’re very excited to finish the judicial process and clear our names,” he said.

Author and investigative reporter Matt Shea said the new charges appeared to be the first UK arrest warrant for the Tate brothers.

“This appears to be a separate set of allegations which mention sexual aggression that Tate allegedly committed on we don’t know how many victims between 2012 and 2015 in the UK in Bedfordshire,” Mr Shea told ABC News.

“[It] is a region I know through my reporting he operated at least one webcam house where women performed on webcam.”

He said one woman took an allegation of rape to Bedfordshire Police several years ago, but they chose not to pursue it.

“According to these women … if police had taken their case seriously and if the Crown Prosecution Service had taken it more seriously then Andrew Tate could have been stopped there and then.

“The reason that the authorities chose to pursue this UK arrest warrant today is, at least according to the lawyers of four women involved in a civil case against Andrew Tate, because there was a rumour he was going to flee the country.”

Mr Vidineac said after the court’s decision on Tuesday that the Tate brothers “unequivocally deny” accusations they planned to flee judicial proceedings in Romania.

“We believe this rumour has originated from a popular online influencer who misconstrued a text message from our clients while streaming live,” he said. “There is simply no truth to it.”

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