The man convicted of harassing and extorting British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd has been returned to the Netherlands, where the prosecution office says a judge will decide if he serves any of his 13-year Canadian sentence.
Canada’s Justice Department says Aydin Coban was taken back to his home country on Nov. 24, where he will continue serving a nearly 11-year sentence imposed by a Dutch court in 2017 for similar crimes involving more than 30 youth.
Coban was extradited to Canada in 2020 to face charges including extortion, harassment and distribution of child pornography related to Todd, who was 15 when she died by suicide at her home in Port Coquitlam, B.C., in October 2012.
Evert Boerstra, press officer with the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service, says a so-called “conversion hearing” will take place now that Coban has been returned, and the court will decide how his Canadian sentence will be converted to Dutch standards.
Boerstra says it will be up to a judge to decide whether Coban will serve the 13-year sentence given to him by a B.C. Supreme Court judge last month, after he finishes his Dutch sentence, which was the maximum that could be imposed.
The press officer says because of the similarity between both cases “there is a chance that after conversion there will be no room left to impose punishment in addition to the Dutch sentence as a result of the Canadian verdict.”
In an email, Boerstra says a date for that hearing has yet to be announced.
Carol Todd, Amanda’s mother, has said she knew at the start of Coban’s nine-week trial in B.C. last June that any sentence would be converted once he returned to the Netherlands.
But it wasn’t until a Dutch reporter contacted her after Coban was convicted in August that Todd said she learned it’s possible he may not serve his Canadian sentence because he was already serving the maximum Dutch term for similar crimes committed around the same time he was harassing her daughter.
Todd has said the Dutch reporter spoke with lawyers who indicatedDutch law also stipulates when someone is convicted and sentenced, then found guilty of the same kind of offence in the same time period, the existing punishment applies.
Todd reached out to Crown prosecutors in B.C. after the publication of the Dutch journalist’s story and they verified that was the law, she said in a recent interview.
During Coban’s trial in New Westminster, B.C., the jury heard he used 22 online aliases to harass Amanda over two years, starting when she was 12 years old.
The trial heard Coban sent photos to Amanda’s family, friends and school administrators of her exposing her breasts because she didn’t comply with his demands to perform sexual “shows” in front of a web camera.
The teenager died by suicide a few weeks after posting a video in which she used flash cards to describe being tormented by an online predator.
Todd said her daughter would have turned 26 over the weekend.
—Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press