STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Was Andrew Tate, who was arrested in late 2022 on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and participating in organized crime, released as of February 22, 2023? No, that's not true: The former kickboxing champion and internet influencer remains behind bars after a Romanian court ruled to extend his detention by another 30 days, according to Ramona Bolla, a spokeswoman for Romania's Directorate for Investigation Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT). Tate is expected to be held in custody until at least the end of March 2023.
The claim appeared in a post on Instagram published on February 21, 2023. The post included a video of Tate exiting a building and text that read: "Andrew's Official Release From Prison..." The post's caption read:
Finally this innocent man is proven not guilty.
This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Wed Feb 22 09:35:10 2023 UTC)
The video included the text of a tweet posted to Tate's account on February 21, 2023. The tweet read, in part: "Inshallah, I will be freed," but said nothing about Tate being released. The full tweet can be seen below:
My Legal team has done a fantastic job today.-- Andrew Tate (@Cobratate) February 21, 2023
As of today,
The Judges have been given a very close understanding of the Truth behind the allegations against me.
True colors were brought to light.
Inshallah, I will be freed.
The post offered no other sourcing to substantiate its claim.
Tate, who holds dual U.S. and British citizenship, was arrested in Romania on December 29, 2022, along with his brother and two other men on charges of human trafficking, organized crime and rape, according to police.
A court ordered all four men to be held in pretrial detention for 30 days on December 30, 2022. A judge subsequently approved a 30-day extension and on February 21, 2023, a court agreed to another 30-day extension, meaning Tate will remain in custody until at least the end of March 2023, Bolla, the spokeswoman for DIICOT, told Lead Stories.
Tate's attorney, Eugen Vidineac, told Lead Stories in a phone conversation on February 22, 2023, that he immediately contested the court's decision to keep Tate behind bars. An appeals hearing will likely be set in a matter of days, Vidineac said.
Tate maintains his innocence. Since his arrest, his Twitter account has remained active, although it's unclear whether Tate himself is posting. A tweet posted to his account on January 19, 2023, reads: "I'm in detention as they 'look' for evidence. Evidence they will never find because we are not guilty."
Lead Stories has debunked several claims about Tate. For example, we showed he was not arrested because of a speech he gave about the "matrix" -- a rigged societal system he claims is designed to benefit only the rich. We also proved that he was still in detention as of January 3, 2023 and had not been found guilty and sentenced to 14 years in prison as of January 24, 2023. See here for all of our debunks on Tate.
-- Lead Stories reporter Ioana Burtea contributed to this report.
2023-02-22T18:14:53Z 2023-02-22T18:14:53ZAdds quote from Andrew Tate's attorney.