News that webcam blackmailer Aydin Coban could be extradited to Canada to face charges relating to the cyberbullying of Amanda Todd was an early morning birthday present for her mother.
Carol Todd was alerted as early as 3:30 a.m. by Dutch media informing her that the supreme court in the Netherlands ruled the extradition of Coban could go ahead.
Now it appears more of a possibility that a Canadian court will deal with the five charges laid by the RCMP against Coban related to the cyberstalking of Amanda Todd, a teenager from Port Coquitlam.
"It makes sense that our legal system should have an opportunity to put him on trial," Todd told The Tri-City News. "It makes me feel better. Being in Vancouver and being in a place where I'm comfortable, where I have lots of support is very important."
Still, she admitted there are a steps that have to be taken before a court case could take place here.
First, the Dutch justice minister has to approve the extradition. Second, Coban has appealed his conviction on charges in his home country, which could also delay the extradition. Last month, he was sentenced to nearly 11 years in jail for online abuse and for blackmailing 34 young girls and men.
"Everything has to be dotted and signed over there," Todd said.
She is hopeful, however, that the obstacles will fall and Coban will one day face charges of extortion, internet luring, criminal harassment, possessing child pornography for the purpose of distribution, and child pornography that RCMP laid in 2014 — even though she has no idea when that might occur.
"They just keep telling me it's in progress and they're working on it. All I want to know is they haven't given up."
Meanwhile, the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch reports that Coban doesn't have to serve his sentence before an extradition can take place but all appeals have to be dismissed first before proceeding, communications counsel Dan McLaughlin said in an email.
As well, it would be up to the federal Department of Justice to handle the extradition as it is a diplomatic process involving the surrender of the person who is accused.
Todd said she is well aware of all the hurdles as well as the toll a court case would have on her and her family, but is comforted by knowing that each step is an opportunity to raise awareness about cyberbullying and online sextortion.
As an example, she pointed to the sold-out attendance of last week's workshop on using social media wisely put on by the School District 43 District parent advisory council. Todd and social media expert Jesse Miller gave the presentation.
"It shows you there is a need out there. Parents are starting to want more information and that's a good thing."