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Dutch court needs more from Canada before sentence in Todd cyberbullying

Aydin Coban’s 13-year Canadian sentence being converted into a Dutch prison term

Judges in Amsterdam said Thursday they need more information from Canadian authorities as they consider the sentence of a Dutch man convicted in Canada last year of crimes including extortion and harassment of Canadian teenager Amanda Todd.

The ruling delayed legal moves to convert Aydin Coban’s 13-year Canadian sentence into a Dutch prison term in the notorious case of online extortion.

Coban blackmailed the 15-year-old to expose herself in front of a webcam. She took her own life in 2012 after recounting her ordeal in a YouTube video watched by millions around the world.

In a brief court hearing Thursday at which a new sentence was expected to be announced, a judge instead said that the panel at Amsterdam District Court needs clarification from Canada about the most likely date Coban would be released if he were to serve his sentence in a Canadian prison.

“We have to take into account when he actually would have been released and Canadian authorities have given a couple of possible dates, but don’t say this is the most likely date that he would be released,” Coban’s lawyer Robert Malewicz told reporters at the courthouse.

No new date was set for a hearing in the case. The sentencing ruling can still be appealed in the Dutch Supreme Court.

Coban was already serving an 11-year sentence in the Netherlands for similar crimes targeting more than 30 other victims when he was extradited to Canada to face trial in the Todd case. Her death brought the issue of cyberbullying to mainstream attention in Canada.

He was sent to Canada on the condition that he served any sentence imposed there in a Dutch prison. The Canadian sentence also has to be converted to Dutch sentencing norms.

Prosecutors said two weeks ago that under Dutch law, he should serve four and a half years.

Malewicz, called the Canadian sentence “exorbitantly high, even by Canadian standards.” He said that Coban shouldn’t get any extra prison time, but if he does, it should be no more than one year, with six months suspended. That would mean Coban would only have to serve an extra six months if he commits another offense.

READ ALSO: Lawyers ask court to reduce 13-year cyberbullying sentence in Amanda Todd case

READ ALSO: Dutch man who harassed B.C. teenager Amanda Todd returned to the Netherlands