Man accused of cyberbullying Amanda Todd can be extradited
Published Tuesday, June 28, 2016 8:45AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 28, 2016 9:26PM EDT
The mother of B.C. teen Amanda Todd says learning that the 38-year-old man accused of cyberbullying her daughter can be extradited to Canada to stand trial was a “bittersweet moment.”
A Dutch court has ruled that Aydin Coban, the man accused of bullying 15-year-old Todd online, can be sent to Canada to face charges, but only after he goes on trial in the Netherlands.
“It brings up all the pain that started back in October of 2012 when we lost her,” Carol said of her daughter on Tuesday. “It’s good that we see justice coming.”
Coban, who is Dutch, is charged with child pornography and extortion involving 39 people. In total, he faces 72 charges in his home country. That trial won’t be starting until next year.
He is accused of using webcam video to blackmail dozens of people from various countries.
“He victimized my daughter and it wasn’t just a one-shot deal, it became a year of harassment,” said Carol Todd.
The RCMP want Coban to stand trial on five charges related to Todd, including extortion, criminal harassment, internet luring and child pornography.
In 2012, Todd posted a video online, describing her suffering after she was threatened by a harasser who posted nude photos of her on social media.
Shortly after posting the video, Todd died by suicide.
Her death sparked a national conversation on the dangers of cyberbullying and partially led to the creation of Canada’s anti-bullying law, which makes it illegal to distribute intimate images without consent.
Carol Todd told CTV News Channel that she was aware of the extradition process and has been in contact with British Columbia’s Crown counsel, as well as offices of the Dutch prosecutor in the Netherlands.
“It’s good to know, because my emotional health is important and I needed to make sure I was prepared for whatever ruling would come down,” she said.
According to Coban’s ex-lawer,
Todd said she thinks the extradition ruling sends a message that “you’re not safe where you are.
“Just because you might be overseas, you think that you’re not touchable.”
Carol Todd said she doesn’t know “a whole lot” about Coban, apart from what has been reported in the Dutch media.
None of the allegations against Coban have been proven in court.
CTV News legal analyst Edward Prutschi said the Netherlands has essentially made a “guarantee” that, regardless of what transpires in Dutch court, Coban will be sent to Canada.
The case is significant, Prutschi said, given that cyberbullying is a “relatively new element” of the Criminal Code and “one of the first cases that’s going to test it, is a case with a foreign national who’s extradited to Canada to face it.”
Prutschi said the ruling also shows how “extraordinarily seriously” Canadian authorities are taking the Todd case. He also said that this shows that Canada will go beyond borders and spend the time and money to bring people to justice.
“Not only have they followed through with their investigation, they’ve targeted someone in a foreign country,” Prutschi said. “They didn’t throw their hands up and say, ‘Well, they’re outside of Canada, we’ve done everything we can.'”
According to legal experts, Canada has been working behind the scenes to ensure Coban’s extradition. The Department of Justice filed a package of evidence with the Dutch court in an effort to convince them the accused should be tried in Canada.
Prustchi said, even if Coban is found guilty and sentenced in the Netherlands, he will be able to travel for a trial in Canada.
If he is found guilty in Canada, there will be an “international discussion” about where and when he will serve his sentence, Prutschi said.
According to Coban’s former lawyer, Christian Van Dijk, it could be years before Coban is sent to Canada, if he is ever actually sent, saying, “I think there are legal grounds for him to have the case of Amanda Todd, as well, in the Netherlands.”
The Associated Press reports that the Dutch justice minister must now sign off on the extradition.
With files from CTV Vancouver