The Dutch man accused of tormenting and extorting B.C. teenager Amanda Todd online before she killed herself in 2012 was extradited to Canada in December, CBC has learned.
Court officials confirmed Aydin Coban made his first appearance in a B.C. court on Dec. 8, 2020. His lawyer Robert Malewicz confirmed that his client, who he said is eager to clear his name, was flown to Canada in early December.
Coban was charged in Canada with extortion, criminal harassment, child luring and child pornography in connection with the 15-year-old from Port Coquitlam, B.C.
He was serving a sentence for unrelated cyberbullying convictions in The Netherlands at the time of his extradition.
A spokesperson for the federal Department of Justice said that once Coban’s Canadian trial has concluded, he will return home to complete his sentence. If he is convicted of the Canadian charges, that sentence will also be served in the Netherlands.
Todd’s death drew international attention after she left behind a poignant YouTube video using flash cards to tell how she sank into depression after she was exploited online.
Coban is accused of sexually blackmailing the teen. He was charged in Canada in 2014, but first had to face criminal proceedings unrelated to Todd’s case in his home country.
Coban was convicted and sentenced in 2017 for fraud and blackmail in a series of cyberbullying cases involving young girls and gay men.
In a statement online last November, Coban said: “The Canadian authorities finally agreed to execute the extradition. I hope to be in Canada in a few days, if not weeks. I’m looking forward to clear my name. I am innocent.”
Last year, Coban’s lawyer said his client was eager to fight the charges in Canada, but had been stymied by travel document issues.
In a statement on his website in November, Malewicz said, “further delay of the extradition is for him unacceptable, as he also takes into consideration that the family of Amanda Todd and Canadian society have been waiting for a trial.”
Malewicz said his client had been fighting to come to Canada since 2018.
“He is looking forward to clear his name and to fight the charges. He’s not willing whatsoever to enter a plea agreement or plead guilty,” said Malewicz.
Coban’s next appearance in court, for a pre-trial conference, is scheduled for Feb. 12 in New Westminster, B.C. He’ll remain in custody throughout his time in Canada.