Amanda Todd case: Trial hears from Dutch police investigator about computers seized in search

A Dutch police investigator testified Friday about computers and other technology seized from a property in the Netherlands at the jury trial of a man accused of sextorting Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd.

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

Marten Busstra, who was with a team investigating child abuse, told the court about a laptop and desktop computer seized from a bungalow where Coban had been arrested in January 2014.

Busstra testified about how police take steps to make copies of data found on devices they seize as part of a search for any potential evidence.

“We open the computer to see if we can find storage devices, discs, which would contain data that might be relevant to the case,” he testified. “We always work with copies of data, never with the originals… once we are able to create a successful copy of that, they (the original devices) will be stored in a specific exhibit room.”

The court has heard about a number of items seized from the bungalow, including a passport with the name Aydin Coban that was found stashed inside a stereo, along with cash and a hard drive.

In cross examination, Busstra told the court investigators found evidence on the laptop of someone using the computer in the hours before the seizure.

“I remember having checked how long this laptop was online or booted up, active,” Busstra said. “When I read the history I found a couple of commands and based on this information, I would say that the commands were input in those last hours before the seizure.”

Busstra told the court he was aware digital investigators had gone into the bungalow a number of weeks before the search, and had installed covert monitoring software, described as “keylogger” software, on some devices.

However, when asked if members of the same team had re-entered the bungalow before him on the night of the search to remove the software, Busstra said “I do not remember that.”

He told the court the only thing he remembered was being called into the bungalow and encountering a colleague “that was also the only person in the bungalow.”

The Crown has said Todd was the victim of a persistent campaign of online sextortion from age 12 to 15. They allege someone with 22 phony accounts tried to use explicit photos of the teen as leverage to get her to perform sex acts online, and when she did not comply, would send links to the images to family, friends, and others.

Todd died by suicide in 2012 at age 15, after sharing a video outlining allegations of bullying and blackmail.

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

The trial continues next week.

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