Detention for Andrew Tate has been extended a third time

On February 1st, Andrew Tate leaves the courtroom during his trial in Bucharest

The third time that custody has been extended in Romania, controversial influencer Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan will remain there until at least the end of March.

The two were detained in December on suspicion of forming an organized crime group, rape, and human trafficking.

Both men have said they did nothing wrong.

Their initial period of detention, which was maintained until February 27th, has been extended for an additional 30 days.

Georgiana Naghel and Luana Radu, two Romanian women detained with the brothers, will be released from custody and placed under house arrest.

The most recent extension was requested earlier on Tuesday by the prosecution. Judges had used the defendants' ability to exert long-term psychological control over the victims to support the previous extension.

According to a BBC report from last week, the Tate brothers threatened legal action against at least one woman who accused him of rape and human trafficking. A US attorney on their behalf sent a "cease-and-desist" letter threatening to sue the woman and her parents for $300 million (£249 million) if she did not retract her claims.

The Tates' attorneys told journalists that no new evidence was presented at the hearing and that the prosecution's case did not support the brothers' continued detention in a statement made after today's extension application was submitted.

The brothers would contest any decision to keep them in custody past next Monday, their legal counsel told the BBC last week. She was questioned about the brothers' reactions to their ongoing detention and said that it was "very challenging".

Mr Tate, a former kickboxer, rose to fame in 2016 when he was removed from British TV show Big Brother over a video which appeared to show him attacking a woman.

As a result of his comments that women should "bear responsibility" for being sexually assaulted, he later gained notoriety online and was banned from Twitter. He was later given a second chance.

Despite social media bans, he became well-liked, especially among young men, by promoting what he portrayed as an extremely opulent and hyper-masculine lifestyle.

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