Amanda Todd case: Dutch officer testifies about covert operation at home where accused later arrested


The trial of a man accused of sexually extorting Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd heard testimony about a secret police operation at the Netherlands property where Aydin Coban was arrested weeks later.


The Dutch citizen has pleaded not guilty to extortion, harassment, possession of child pornography and child luring.


The court heard a small team of investigators spent hours conducting covert activities in December 2013, but the witness would not reveal details about what took place.


Insp. Carolina Van Swaay testified by video from the Netherlands. With an interpreter translating her testimony in the New Westminster courtroom, she said she and three others entered the property secretly on Dec. 22, in part to return a pair of hard drives.


The jury has heard testimony that two hard drives that were too large to copy or image on site at the bungalow were temporarily removed and taken to a forensic lab.


Van Swaay told the court her team’s initial search, which was opened and closed by a judge by phone, took 55 minutes, but in cross-examination said they spent about an additional three hours and 40 minutes inside the home. When asked if they had been installing covert software, she would not elaborate further.


“I can only say that we were occupied with a covert operation,” she said. “I cannot give any details on it.”


Another investigator, Chief Inspector Joerie van Schijndel, previously testified monitoring or “key logging” software was installed on a laptop and desktop computer.


Another police officer who appeared by video from the Netherlands testified about a request from the Coquitlam RCMP for forensic images from devices seized in the investigation, but during cross-examination, he could not specifically remember which ones.


The Crown alleges Todd was pursued for years by someone with 22 phony accounts, who tried to use explicit photos of the teen to get her to perform sex acts online. Todd died by suicide in 2012 at the age of 15.


Coban’s defence counsel has said the case is about whether the Crown can prove who was behind the messages to Todd.


Testimony is set to continue Thursday.  

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