Trial starts in Amsterdam for Dutchman linked to Amanda Todd cyberbullying case

Trial starts for Dutchman linked to Amanda Todd

The mother of Amanda Todd says she is relieved that a trial began Wednesday in the Netherlands for a Dutch man who is also accused in Canada of sexually extorting her daughter.

“It gave me a feeling that, ‘Yes, this is finally happening,’ ” said Carol Todd of Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Aydin Coban, 38, is in an Amsterdam court facing charges of child pornography, extortion and child luring involving 34 girls and five gay men.

Coban also faces five charges related to Todd, who killed herself in 2012 at the age of 15 after being bullied over nude photos posted on social media by an online harasser. The teen’s emotional video posted online before she died explaining what happened to here was viewed by millions around the world. 

Todd’s mother said she will travel to Amsterdam next week to watch part of the proceedings. She said in an interview from her home that it was important for her to see the man accused of cyberbullying her daughter in person.

“I just need to do this, to see him face to face, not only for myself but for my daughter,” she said. “Part of it is I need to do this for her.”

Under Dutch privacy laws the man at trial is only identified as Aydin C.

An Associated Press story from Amsterdam on Wednesday reported Aydin C is the same man charged in the Amanda Todd case and that a Dutch court has approved the man’s extradition following his trial in the Netherlands. He has appealed that decision.

In 2014, the RCMP announced it was charging Aydin Coban with extortion, importing or distributing child pornography, possessing child pornography and child luring in connection to Amanda Todd’s case.

Prosecutors at Coban’s Dutch trial allege he prowled the Internet hunting for victims, portraying himself in online chat rooms as either a woman who befriended young girls or a boy of around 18 years.

Prosecutors told the court the man would persuade them to strip in front of their webcams and then use the images to blackmail them. Coban has denied all the charges.

Todd’s mother described the start of Coban’s trial in the Netherlands as bittersweet.

“Bitter, as in it brings up all the things that I felt during what Amanda was going through and after her death. But sweet because this is the start of a justice process that will hopefully bring an outcome that we’ll all be happy with,” she said.

“And then it’s just one step closer to possibly him being extradited here so that Amanda’s case can be tried.”

Amanda Todd brought the problem of cyberbullying to mainstream attention in 2012 after her video describing how she was lured by a stranger to expose her breasts on a webcam.

— With files from The Associated Press

Geordon Omand, The Associated Press