Andrew Tate flashes hand symbol as he’s led handcuffed into court
Accused human-trafficking rapist Andrew Tate inflamed conspiracy theories by flashing a mystery hand signal when he arrived at a Romanian court Monday for his latest doomed bid to get out of jail.
The incendiary influencer made a diamond-shaped symbol with his hands as soon as he got out of a prison van handcuffed to his smiling brother Tristan, 34, heading into the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
With a scruffy beard and a mess of stubbly hair covering his usually clean-shaven head, Tate, 36, maintained the symbol throughout his walk in front of a throng of media.
The brothers — dual citizens of the US and UK — have yet to be formally charged despite being busted on Dec. 29 accused of rape and running an organized gang involved in sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
On Monday, they again lost an appeal to be freed, with a judge ordering them held until at least Mar. 29.
Tate has repeatedly thrown the diamond-shaped hand symbol before — sparking conspiracy theories and alarm at how it is being mimicked by impressionable young boys.
Many have noted that it is similar to the so-called “Merkel Diamond” — or Merkel-Raute — that was regularly used by former German leader Angela Merkel and seemingly copied by other world leaders and some celebrities, like soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Tate — who has repeatedly blamed his legal woes on “The Matrix” — has previously acknowledged that people assume it must be “an Illuminati” or “Freemason hand symbol.”
“I’m not associated with the Illuminati,” he insisted in one video.
Instead, he said, the symbol was one he copied from his late dad, the chess master Emory Tate, calling it “a power up.”
“The reason I do it is because when your brain is as advanced as mine you have to complete the circuit,” he said, saying he was “full of electricity” with “blood on fire.”
“I do it because it increases my powers — it’s like a power-up,” he said.
In the clip, Tate — known for his misogynistic outbursts — told his “gentleman” followers to try it.
When his brother said that women were bound to be watching, too, Andrew Tate said in characteristic fashion: “Of course — but they ain’t got any power.”
It is such outbursts — along with the serious sex crimes the influencer is accused of — that alarms experts seeing boys mimicking the Tate power symbol.
The gesture carries a threat even if teenage boys use it “ironically,” according to Tim Squirrell of the human-rights group the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD).
“For women and girls who are around it, that doesn’t really make much of a difference – ‘ironic’ endorsement of violent misogyny is, in many instances, indistinguishable from the real thing and creates an unsafe atmosphere for them,” he told Vice News.
It is also part of Tate’s messaging that dark forces are at play, which stops followers from seeing the evil he is accused of, Squirrell suggested.
“If you believe that Tate is being persecuted, then that can make it hard to level some of the most serious and credible accusations at him – that he’s an alleged human trafficker and rapist – because you can say that these are fake charges that have been made up to silence him,” he said.
Since being locked up, Tate has continued tweeting to his 5.2 million followers.
On Monday, he complained about how he’d not been “allowed a single visit” during 61 days in jail. “Not even from my children.”
Last week, he claimed that he “was awoken” by “an icy chill and identified a ghost in my prison cell.”
“He was terrified and begged me not to annihilate him,” he wrote of a widely mocked ghostly vision.
“I sent him back to hell with a message for the demons … I am always ready.”
Tate spent his early years in Chicago before moving to the UK with his mom after his parents split. He moved to Romania after being investigated in the UK, where charges were not pressed.
He and his co-accused have always denied the Romanian charges. The influencer had his hands in his pockets when he left Monday’s hearing.
On Monday, prosecutors also successfully overturned an earlier decision to allow the brothers’ two co-accused — including the influencer’s rumored girlfriend — to be held on house arrest. All four can be held for up to 180 days under Romanian law.
A document explaining an earlier decision to keep them in custody blamed the “particular dangerousness of the defendants” and their capacity to identify victims “with an increased vulnerability, in search of better life opportunities.”
With Post wires
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