Jailhouse phone wiretaps cited by judges in court papers obtained by BuzzFeed News show that Andrew allegedly hoped to flee to Dubai under the pretext of receiving medical treatment there. (The United Arab Emirates does not have an extradition treaty with Romania.) A Tate representative told the Daily Mail in early March that a dark spot on Andrew’s lung was “most likely a tumor.” However, Andrew later clarified via Twitter that the spot was in fact scarring “from an old battle.” Andrew’s request to travel was refused by authorities.
Eugen Vidineac, a lawyer for the Tates, has tamped down speculation that the brothers might try to flee. “They have a home and children in Romania, they are under criminal investigation, there is no reason to run away,” he told local media. Mateea Petrescu, the Tates’ spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News, “Regarding their departure from the country, the partially published wiretaps omitted the context, [namely] Andrew discussing leaving to Dubai for medical inquiries only in the case that his status allows it.”
Romanian authorities also said that the Tates have encouraged their army of followers to message at least one alleged victim demanding she retract her accusations. “These comments are of a nature to provoke in the victim a state of fear as a result of the threatening tone they have in addressing her, attempting to determine her to change her statements regarding the accused in the case,” the judge noted in the February summary.
(Sulaiman Ahmed, a pro-Tate online personality, on Feb. 18 tweeted that he had traveled to Palm Beach, Florida — the hometown of one of the key witnesses in the case — “for a major story.” However, there was no indication Ahmed, who did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment, actually met the witness or her family.)
On top of this, in December, a US law firm representing the brothers sent a cease-and-desist letter to the woman in Florida, urging her to retract her statements or face a defamation lawsuit. Romanian authorities view this letter as a piece of the alleged intimidation puzzle.
A separate US lawyer for the Tates, Tina Glandian, who is on their Romanian legal team, recently stressed to the media that her “firm had no involvement in sending the cease and desist letter.” Petrescu told BuzzFeed News that the letter was “a LEGAL action in the USA,” adding, “These suspicions are obsolete given that the judges from the appeals court decided to place them in house arrest.”