Two Dutch witnesses testified at the trial of a man accused of extorting Port Coquitlam student Amanda Todd this morning (June 16) they met Aydin Coban while trying to rent an apartment in Rotterdam.
In May 2011, they told the jury, they each met with Coban separately after they had exchanged emails with him — believing he was the owner of the apartment.
Speaking from The Netherlands via video conferencing and through an interpreter at BC Supreme Court in New Westminster, Karlijn Bakker said she was interested in renting the place at Jonker Fransstraat 117B and met Coban at the apartment for a 30-minute tour.
In emails, he had provided his phone number and sent Bakker a rental contract with a photocopy of his passport identification page, which showed an image of Coban.
Antoinette Van der Linden testified via the Dutch courtroom she also met Coban to rent the same apartment, visited the home with him for about 15 minutes and received the same phone number and passport ID page as Bakker.
Their description of Coban also matched: smaller build, shoulder-length hair and swarthy skin.
Last week, at the start of the trial, Coban pleaded not guilty to:
- Importing and distributing child pornography
- Possession of child pornography
- Communicating with the intent to lure a child
- Criminal harassment
None of the allegations is proven in court.
In cross-examination with defence counsel Trevor Martin, both witnesses said they knew Coban by the name of "Jay" and had communicated with someone with "Jay" in his email address.
They also testified they had not seen a photo of Coban before meeting him at the Rotterdam apartment; however, Van Der Linden testified the man from the passport photo was the same person she had met previously in Rotterdam.
Both witnesses said they contacted police afterward.
Meanwhile, an evidence officer with the Dutch National Police returned to the stand on Thursday morning to identify items she catalogued after a raid at a vacation home that Coban was staying at in Oisterwijk, in January 2014 — shortly after Coban’s arrest.
Among the evidence seized at the bungalow, Sabrina Hendry told the court, were:
- Three CDs and a laptop from one bedroom
- Hard drives, USB drives and a DVD from another bedroom
- A Motorola mobile phone and CD from the kitchen
- A CD in the hallway
The seven-week trial continues.