Dutch want maximum term for cyber bully

2017-02-10 05:28
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Amsterdam - Dutch prosecutors on Thursday called for almost 11 years behind bars for a man accused of a global cyber-bullying racket which coaxed young girls into posing naked and then blackmailing them.

The defendant Aydin C is suspected of forcing dozens of young women from as far as Britain, Canada, Norway and the United States into performing sex acts in front of their webcams.

He is also wanted for trial in Canada in the case of 15-year-old Amanda Todd who committed suicide in October 2012 after being tormented by an anonymous cyber bully.

"It's time for justice. The suspect must be kept away from society as long as possible," public prosecutor Annet Kramer told judges at a hearing in Amsterdam, asking for a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and eight months.

The prosecution's request "hardly begins to cover" the damage suffered by the victims of Aydin C, who is identified only by his first name due to Dutch privacy rules, Kramer added.

The 38-year-old Dutchman has denied 72 charges including computer sex crimes such as making and storing of child pornography, extortion, fraud and hard drug possession.

"We're talking about very serious crimes that have affected countless victims and will continue to affect them in the coming years," said another prosecutor Janneke Weeling.

A Dutch court in June ruled Aydin C could also be extradited to Canada to stand trial in connection with Todd's death. That ruling is under appeal before the Dutch Supreme Court.

But Todd's mother, Carol Todd, has flown from British Columbia to The Netherlands to attend the hearings this week.

She said although it was difficult, she wanted to look Aydin C in the eye, adding in an interview with broadcaster NPO she wanted to send a message to the parents of other victims "that I am here in support of them and their story".

Her daughter would have "wanted to be face to face with him, and tell him what his actions did to her. But she can't. So I'm going to be the one who is sort of standing up for my daughter", Todd said.

Dressed in a black jacket, black pants and a dark shirt, with his long greying hair slicked back, Aydin C took notes during Thursday's hearing occasionally conferring with his lawyer.

Judges again heard how Aydin C, a jobless drifter posed online as a young woman and established trust with 34 teenaged girls, eventually getting them to pose naked and commit sexual acts.

Once he obtained the images, his tone changed and he would start to threaten the girls, telling them he would show the pictures to parents, relatives and school friends if they did not do as told.

Five gay men - mainly in Australia - were also lured in, when Aydin C allegedly posed as a young boy.

Todd's suicide sparked a worldwide debate about online behaviour, prompting calls for cyber bullying to be criminalised.

Read more on:    netherlands  |  cyber crime

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