'Justice is closer': Amanda Todd's mom elated over extradition news
A Dutch court's decision to uphold the extradition of Amanda Todd's alleged tormentor left the B.C. teenager's mother overjoyed Tuesday – on her birthday, no less.
Carol Todd said word that the 38-year-old suspect, Aydin Coban, could be coming to Canada to face justice in her daughter's cyberbullying is the best present she could have asked for.
"Justice is closer," she told CTV News. "People say justice for me, but it's justice for Amanda. Somewhere in the world, she's able to see this."
A lower court had already ordered Coban's extradition, but the suspect appealed. That attempt was rejected this week by the Dutch Supreme Court, paving the way for him to potentially be flown over for a Canadian trial.
It's unclear how long that could take, however. The order still needs to be approved by the Dutch security and justice minister, and it's possible Coban's departure could delayed by an appeal of his conviction on separate charges.
Still, more than four years after Amanda's suicide, the development was a welcome relief to the 15-year-old victim's mother, who had been anticipating the court's decision with tempered expectations.
"I never set my hopes too high just in case it was a no. The disappointment would be devastating," she said.
Last month, the suspect was found guilty of cyberbullying dozens of young girls and gay men and sentenced to 11 years in prison, but none of the allegations involved Amanda's harassment.
In Canada, he faces charges including extortion, possession of child pornography and attempting to lure a child in connection with her case.
The teenager's mother said part of her feels pity for Coban because "he has to resort to such acts against other people to make himself feel empowered and happy."
Her daughter's suicide in October 2012 drew international attention to the growing issue of internet abuse. Before taking her life, Amanda posted a heartbreaking YouTube video detailing how she was coaxed to her expose her breasts to a stranger online then publicly humiliated.
The man shared an image of her on Facebook, resulting in relentless bullying that eventually forced the teenager to change schools.
Even then, her trouble persisted, and she ultimately died by suicide weeks after posting the video.
When Coban was being sentenced in March, the Dutch judge handed him the maximum prison term possible, citing the "devastating consequences" of his actions on his young victims.
The court heard he would pose as a boy or girl and persuade victims – 34 in total – to perform sexual acts on camera before blackmailing them, and that in some cases the abuse lasted for years.
With files from The Associated Press