Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case says he wants to come to Canada for trial
'He is looking forward to clear his name and to fight the charges,' says lawyer of accused in Amanda Todd case
The man accused of tormenting and extorting 15-year-old Amanda Todd before she killed herself is eager to be extradited because he thinks he can clear his name, according to his lawyer.
Aydin Coban is charged with extortion, criminal harassment, child luring and child pornography in connection to the Port Coquitlam teen.
Her tragic suicide became a cautionary tale 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 vulnerable teen and 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 cases of cyberbullying involving young girls and gay men. He's serving 11 years in a Dutch prison.
Coban's lawyer said his client is now eager to fight the Canadian charges.
But his extradition to Canada is stymied as he awaits valid travel documents from the Canadian government.
"It looks like bureaucracy is stronger than simply extraditing my client to Canada. Both sides — Canadian and Dutch authorities — are referring to each other and my client is still here," said Coban's lawyer Robert Malewicz in an interview from The Netherlands on Tuesday.
"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," he said.
Malewicz said his client abandoned appeals of his Dutch conviction in August 2019, and was ready to come to Canada even earlier in December 2018.
Malewicz said he's tried to pressure Dutch authorities to move faster, to no avail.
The Dutch tell Malewicz that he needs a passport to travel, and Canada won't issue an emergency passport. So, he says, the two sides remain at a stalemate —and justice waits.
Canada is seeking Coban's temporary surrender so he can be tried in British Columbia while he continues to serve out his Dutch prison sentence. In December, an order for temporary detention was granted by the B.C. Supreme Court. This will take effect when he arrives.
But the timeline is not clear, according to B.C. justice authorities.
Coban has been held in prison for seven years, according to Malewicz.
He said his client wanted the Amanda Todd charges added to the original Dutch indictment, but that wasn't done.
At the time of his conviction a news release from the Dutch court said Coban "deceived tenants, committed computer intrusion and blackmailed a man online by pretending to be a boy who was looking for sexual contacts."
He initially planned to appeal the Dutch conviction, but Malewicz says his client dropped that appeal to allow the extradition to Canada to move faster.
CBC reached out to the federal Justice Department for details but have not yet had a reply.