AMSTERDAM (AP) — A prosecutor says a Dutch man suspected of possessing child pornography and blackmailing and harassing victims over the Internet with naked images of themselves may have victimized up to 40 people in the Netherlands and several dozen in other countries, including the United States and Britain.
The 36-year-old suspect, identified under Dutch privacy laws only as Aydin C., did not attend a pretrial hearing Friday.
Canada has said it may seek Aydin C.'s extradition in the Amanda Todd case, but has not yet formally done so. The Canadian teenager drew global attention to cyberbullying when she posted a video on YouTube in which she told her story — just weeks before she committed suicide.
Prosecutor Annet Kramer said nine Dutch victims have agreed to press charges but added that her investigation has been impeded by technical complications. Aydin C. has not assisted investigators in unencrypting digital storage devices seized when he was arrested in January.
Aydin C.'s lawyer Christian van Dijk says his client is exercising his right to remain silent: offering up encryption passwords could mean the devices were his or under his control. Under the Dutch system, the charges against Aydin are preliminary and he is not obliged to enter a plea.
"It remains difficult to ascertain the identity of victims and sometimes it's not possible at all," Kramer told judges.
Kramer quoted from a chat in which Aydin C. allegedly pressured a victim into submitting to his requests or "I will drive you to kill yourself." In another, the suspect allegedly told another young victim, "I don't care about your age."
During the hearing it emerged Aydin has declined voluntary psychological testing.
Kramer said she expects to finish her investigation late this year, pushing any trial date into 2015.