Sentence delayed in Aydin Coban’s cyberbullying case

Amsterdam District Court. Photo: Dutch News

The sentencing of 45-year-old Dutchman Aydin Coban has been delayed by judges at Amsterdam District Court, who say they need more information from Canadian authorities before determining a final sentence for the man already convicted in Canada for his role in the 2012 suicide of British Columbian teenager Amanda Todd.

In a case of legal tennis, the ball is now back in Canada’s court.

Dutch judges said they need Canadian authorities to clarify when he’d likely be released if he were to serve his sentence in Canada before deciding how much time he should serve in a Dutch prison.

Coban was sentenced to 13 years by a Canadian court last year for crimes including the extortion and harassment of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, who hung herself after Coban blackmailed her into exposing herself in front of a webcam. Her YouTube video about the incident was watched by millions worldwide, with her suicide bringing the issue of cyberbullying to Canada’s public, who have been closely following the case.

Coban, who was already serving an 11-year sentence in the Netherlands for similar crimes against some 30 other victims, was extradited to Canada in 2020 on the condition that he serve any sentence in a Dutch prison.

Judges here have been tasked with converting his Canadian sentence into a Dutch one. Dutch prosecutors say he should serve four and a half years.

But his lawyer, Robert Malewicz, has called that sentence “exorbitantly high, even by Canadian standards”, and says he should only receive a prison term of six months at the most.

“We have to take into account when he actually would have been released, and Canadian authorities have given a couple of possibilities, dates, but don’t say this is the most likely date that he would be released,” Malewicz told reporters after the 3-minute hearing ended without a decision.

A new court date has yet to be set, although any sentence can still be appealed to the Dutch Supreme Court.

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