Controversial influencer Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan will remain in custody in Romania for a fourth consecutive month, a court has ruled.
The brothers have been detained since December and are being investigated on allegations of rape, people trafficking and forming an organised crime group. Both have denied wrongdoing.
Mr. Tate’s lawyers say he will be held until the end of April.
Their spokeswoman Mateea Petrescu said the team was “speechless”.
Under Romanian law, the men can be held for up to six months in detention.
The brothers’ lawyers told a closed court in Bucharest that prosecutors had brought no new evidence to Wednesday’s hearing. They also suggested their clients’ notoriety was contributing to the decision to keep them in custody.
Ms Petrescu said that – for the first time – the judge addressed the brothers directly during the hearing, to ask for their response to the prosecution argument that they were a flight risk and a risk to public order.
Despite what was described as a “dynamic exchange”, the judge eventually ruled the two men should be kept in preventative custody for another 30 days, until the end of April.
Ms Petrescu said the continued detention had “irreparably harmed” their image and that “it [would] take years to rebuild their reputation”.
Lawyers have long argued that keeping the Tates in preventative custody is unnecessarily harsh, when other judicial options – such as house arrest – are available.