Trial of Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd cyberbullying case to begin Monday

·1 min read
Amanda Todd, 15, died by suicide in 2012 after posting a video on YouTube saying she had been blackmailed by an online predator. (TELUS Originals - image credit)
Amanda Todd, 15, died by suicide in 2012 after posting a video on YouTube saying she had been blackmailed by an online predator. (TELUS Originals - image credit)

The trial of a Dutch man accused of harassing and extorting Port Coquitlam teenager Amanda Todd online before she died by suicide in 2012 is set to begin Monday at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

Aydin Coban has been charged with extortion, criminal harassment, child luring and child pornography relating to her case.

Todd, 15, took her own life in 2012 after posting a video in which she used flash cards to describe how she sank into depression after being exploited online. Todd's video has been viewed millions of times and her story has been covered extensively by domestic and international media outlets.

Coban was extradited from the Netherlands to Canada in December 2020 and has been in custody since.

A mandatory publication ban that exists on any case involving a victim of child pornography was struck down in B.C. Supreme Court earlier this year after a successful constitutional challenge, allowing media to report that Todd is the alleged victim.

The constitutional challenge was brought by Todd's mother, Carol Todd, and a consortium of Canadian media outlets. Carol Todd welcomed the decision, saying she hopes Amanda's story can raise awareness around digital safety.

"I'm overwhelmed because the day is finally here," Carol Todd told reporters outside the courthouse on Monday morning. "It will be a long seven weeks [of trial hearings] but we're here to do this for her."

Jason Proctor/CBC
Jason Proctor/CBC

Coban's lawyer Joseph Saulnier said in January that with media now allowed to fully report on the trial, people need to "remain mindful that Mr. Coban is not charged with Amanda Todd's death."

He said Coban denies the allegations against him and looks forward to finally having the trial begin.

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