Trial of Dutch man accused in Amanda Todd case delayed again
A Coquitlam teen who posted a video online about being bullied committed suicide on Oct. 10, 2012. (Facebook)
VANCOUVER -- A Dutch trial has been delayed again for the man charged with child pornography and extortion involving 39 people and who is also implicated in the suicide of British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd.
The court had vowed to forge ahead on Friday, saying the delay was difficult on the alleged victims.
Instead, Aydin Coban's case will go to trial in the Netherlands sometime after the summer, said Elsbeth Kleibeuker, a spokeswoman for the Dutch National Prosecutor's Service.
Coban's current counsel, Robert Malewicz, quit on Friday when the Amsterdam court refused to grant him additional time to prepare his defence. The court recanted that decision on Monday.
"If you give a lawyer one month to prepare himself for this whole case, which includes 25,000 pages (of documents), what would you expect?" said Coban's previous lawyer, Christian van Dijk, who still follows the proceedings closely.
"Coban has the right to have a fair trial and you cannot have a fair trial without a lawyer."
Coban also faces extradition to Canada on five charges connected to Todd, who killed herself in October 2012 after being bullied over nude photos posted through social media by an online harasser.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
It's uncertain how the delay will affect the extradition hearing, which was scheduled to begin June 14 following the Dutch trial. A spokesperson from the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Malewicz will once again defend Coban in the criminal proceedings, said Kleibeuker in an email.
The court was unable to find a lawyer to act as a "process-monitoring guard," she wrote, which on Friday it had said it would do should Coban be unable to find legal representation by this week.
Van Dijk said he wasn't surprised at the lack of interest by other lawyers in taking on the file with so little time to prepare.
"It's such a big case and nobody wants to burn his fingers on a case like this," he said. "How can you prepare yourself as a lawyer?
"You swear an oath to do only cases which you believe in and in which you can do your utmost, but you cannot do your utmost in a case you do not know."
It's likely Coban will remain in custody until criminal proceedings begin later this year, van Dijk said.
Todd's death has had a far-reaching impact in Canada. It helped spur the Canadian government to introduce anti-bullying legislation, which came into effect in March 2015 and made it a crime to distribute intimate images without consent.