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Andrew Tate Released From Prison On House Arrest In Ongoing Human Trafficking Investigation
"I have no resentment in my heart for the country of Romania of for anybody else," Andrew Tate told spectators outside his home after he was released on house arrest on Friday. "There is a zero percent chance of me being convicted for something I've not done."
Controversial social media personality Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan Tate were released and placed on house arrest after spending months in a Romanian jail for alleged human trafficking.
Andrew, a British U.S. citizen who boasts 5.8 million Twitter followers, was detained in Bucharest along with his brother and two unnamed Romanian women on Dec. 29 on accusations of sex trafficking, rape and the formation of an organized crime group.
The Bucharest Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Tate's appeal on Friday, a spokesperson for Romania's anti-organized crime agency DIICOT told the Associated Press, blocking a judge from ordering a fourth 30-day extension on his detention.
Instead, the spokesperson, Ramona Bolla, told the outlet, the Tate brothers and the two women will remain on supervised house arrest until April 29. None of the four have been formally indicted for their alleged activities.
"They are not a flight risk and they are not a danger to public safety, therefore [authorities] have decided to release them under house arrest," the brothers' communications director Mateea Petrescu told Sky News. "[It's] just a small step — they are still under investigation. They are absolutely ecstatic. They kept their spirits [in jail], they are really thrilled and looking forward to being at home — they have kept their optimism throughout."
At the end of April, prosecutors are expected to ask to extend their investigation time for another 30 days, a spokesman for the brothers told The New York Times on Monday.
Under Romanian law, according to the Times, a trial must begin by June — six months after the brothers’ initial arrest.
In an earlier statement issued shortly after the brothers' arrest, DIICOT claimed that six victims were subjected to "acts of physical violence and mental coercion" and coerced into pornographic acts for the monetary gain of Tate's alleged crime group.
In January, Romanian authorities seized a number of luxury cars and assets they said totaled $3.9 million from the brothers' compound near Bucharest. Prosecutors said that if they can prove the cars — which include a Porsche, a Rolls Royce and a Ferrari — and assets were paid for using ill-gotten funds from human trafficking, they will be used to compensate victims and cover court costs and police investigation. Tate tried and failed to appeal the seizure of his assets.
Tristan told reporters on Friday that "the judges today made the right decision" as he and his brother left their detention facility.
"I respect what they've done for me and they will be vindicated in their decision, because I'm an innocent man and I can't wait to prove it," he said.
Tate, a professional kickboxer who has resided in Romania since 2017, addressed a crowd outside what is believed to be his home later that day. He thanked the judges who “heard us today, because they were very attentive and they listened to us, and they let us free.”
"I have no resentment in my heart for the country of Romania of for anybody else," he said, according to the AP. "I just believe in truth ... I truly believe that justice will be served in the end. There is a zero percent chance of me being convicted for something I've not done."
Since then, the divisive internet personality has suggested that he will be murdered in a series of frantic Tweets, according to The Independent.
"I prepare my body to absorb the brutal kinetics of piercing lead," he wrote early on Monday. "As all other silencing attempts fail, and stage 3 approaches — I anticipate a bullet will be the chosen utensil of pacification."
"If they kill me, I love you all," he wrote in a later Tweet.
Tate did not specify who, precisely, would kill him or what their motive could be.
Previously, Tate has been banned from social media sites for hate speech and the expression of misogynistic views. He has previously asserted that women "belong" to men and need men's direction. He has portrayed men as victims of feminism and false rape accusations.