Amanda Todd case: Dutch man to be extradited to Canada
Man accused of using computer to harass and blackmail teenager who later killed herself
The accused, who was arrested in January 2014, denies harassing Amanda or any other wrongdoing, and has yet to decide whether or not he will appeal the extradition ruling
A 38-year-old Dutch man is to be extradited to Canada to face charges in the case of Amanda Todd, the teenager who killed herself in 2012 after a blackmailer posted a topless photograph of her on the internet.
A court in Amsterdam ruled that all the conditions for the Canadian extradition request had been met, but said the suspect – known only as “Aydin C” due to Dutch privacy laws – would first have to stand trial on separate charges in the Netherlands, perhaps before the end of this year.
Aydin C, who was arrested in January 2014, denies harassing Amanda or any other wrongdoing, and has yet to decide whether or not he will appeal the extradition ruling, which must still be signed off by Dutch justice minister, Ard van der Steur.
The story of Amanda touched a nerve the world over, particularly with parents who fear for their children in the unregulated world of online chatrooms where the Canadian teenager met the man who pursued and harassed her, culminating in her death at the age of 15.
Five weeks before taking her own life, Amanda posted a video on YouTube in which she explained how, three years before, after 12 months of relentless grooming, she had exposed her breasts in an online video chat with a stranger.
In the YouTube post, which she titled, My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide and self-harm, she told how the anonymous man then threatened to email the photo to her friends unless she performed more explicit acts.
She became depressed, suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, and turned to drugs and alcohol, “crying every night”.
When the photograph was circulated, her family moved home and she changed schools twice, but she was taunted by other students. She told how she tried to kill herself by drinking bleach but was hospitalised in time. On October 10th, 2012, she was found dead at home in British Columbia.
The Canadian extradition request does not list any charges against Aydin C in relation to Amanda’s death specifically. However, it says he is wanted on charges of using a computer to harass and blackmail a teenager who later committed suicide.
In the Netherlands, Aydin C is due to stand trial on separate charges of extortion, internet “luring”, and possession of child pornography with the aim of distributing it.
He is suspected of blackmailing dozens of young women – perhaps as many as 40 – in the United States, Britain and the Netherlands into performing sexual acts in front of their webcams.
Amanda’s mother, Carol, has established the Amanda Todd Trust to support anti-bullying awareness and programmes for young people with mental health problems.