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Accused in Amanda Todd trial identified by witness as renter of Dutch bungalow searched by police

Former caretaker at vacation park tells B.C. court about interactions with man charged with "sextortion" of B.C. teen  
A former caretaker of a vacation park in The Netherlands where Aydin Coban was staying at the time of his arrest in 2014 testified from a Dutch courtroom this morning (June 23).

Speaking through an interpreter at BC Supreme Court in New Westminster, Dennis Wassenburg told Justice Martha Devlin and the jury that he helped his mother, who was the de Rosep park owner and manager, after work, in the evenings and on the weekends.

Wassenburg was shown a police photo of Coban and identified him as the man who rented bungalow 55 in the vacation park in Oisterwijk; at the time of Coban’s arrest, Wassenburg lived three doors away, he testified.

Coban has pleaded not guilty to 

  • extortion
  • 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.

Wassenburg told the court he saw Coban daily and sometimes chatted with him about playing the guitar. He had known Coban from earlier in the year when he rented a bungalow at the vacation spot.

Wassenburg said he didn’t see Coban host visitors at his pad and that Coban often had his curtains pulled. However, he recalled two occasions where Coban had asked him to watch for parcels that were arriving at his bungalow. 

The second time, Wassenburg said, “He looked stressed. He was expecting something important."

Asked if he knew what that package contained, Wassenburg said Coban had told him the parcel had “hard disks.”

Dutch National Police arrested Coban a few weeks later.

In cross-examination, Wassenburg described to defence counsel Elliot Holzman the layout of the de Rosep vacation park. 

He said the area is wooded and private, and the bungalow Coban was staying at was partially surrounded by a hedge at the front and about 10 m from a neighbouring vacation park called Valkenbosch.

Wassenburg said the internet connection, which was set up by individual park renters, was “slow but stable.”

In her opening address, prosecutor Louise Kenworthy said Crown Counsel will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Coban used his neighbour’s wifi to create 22 phoney online accounts as part of a persistent campaign to “sextort” Port Coquitlam student Amanda Todd.

The trial continues.