NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — The first police witness from the Netherlands has appeared at the jury trial for the Dutch man accused of extorting British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd.
Wybren van der Meer appeared in B.C. Supreme Court via video conference and spoke through a translator to describe his examination of a wireless router at a home near the location of Aydin Coban’s arrest in January 2014.
Coban has pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion, harassment, communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence and two counts of possessing child pornography.
Van der Meer, a digital investigator with Dutch national police, testified that he went to the home in a holiday park as part of an investigation into a particular internet protocol address and examined the router to identify devices that had recently been connected to it.
He told the court he found a device with a particular “MAC” address, describing it as a unique identifier assigned to each computer or mobile device, along with an IP address assigned by the internet service provider.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Elliot Holzman, van der Meer agreed that a password was necessary to access the neighbour’s Wi-Fi network and distance from a router is a factor when it comes to connecting to a wireless network.
He told the court he didn’t know whether Wi-Fi was available in the home where Coban was arrested, and he was not aware of the distance between the homes.
At the start of the trial on Monday, Crown prosecutor Louise Kenworthy said Todd had been the victim of a persistent campaign of online “sextortion” from November 2009 to February 2012, before her death at age 15 in October that year.
Kenworthy told the jury the person had more than 20 separate usernames to contact the teenager from Port Coquitlam, threatening to send her friends and family photos that showed her with her hand in her underwear and exposing her breasts, unless she performed sexual acts in front of a web camera.
She said the Crown expected to call witnesses to show that the numerous accounts allegedly used to harass and extort Todd were operated by Coban.
The jury was also expected to hear from a B.C. RCMP officer who examined the contents of computers and hard drives seized from Coban’s home and found evidence linking him to the teen, Kenworthy said.
Carol Todd, Amanda’s mother, testified this week that there had been conversations on social media about what happened to her daughter after a video Amanda posted about her experience went “viral” online.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2022.
Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press
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All three levels of government, police, organizers granted full standing on inquiry
OTTAWA — The commissioner of the inquiry examining Ottawa’s use of the Emergencies Act to bring an end to the so-called “Freedom Convoy” protest in February has granted standing to the organizers, police and representatives of all three levels of government.
The decision by Paul Rouleau means those granted standing will be given advance notice on information submitted into evidence before the inquiry, and also gives them certain privileges, such as the opportunity to suggest or cross-examine witnesses.
Those granted full standing in the public inquiry include the federal, Alberta and Saskatchewan governments, the cities of Ottawa and Windsor, Ont., the Ottawa Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police and the organizers of the convoy, including Tamara Lich, Tom Marazzo and Chris Barber.
Former Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly will be allowed to produce documents, make submissions on factual, evidentiary and policy-related issues and examine witnesses, and the Manitoba government has been granted permission to provide written submissions.
However, Rouleau denied standing to the Conservative Party of Canada and several participants of the protests, some of whom had their bank accounts frozen under the Act.
Rouleau said it is important that the inquiry remain an independent, non-partisan process, noting there is also the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on the Declaration of Emergency reviewing the use of the Act’s powers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 27, 2022.
The Canadian Press
Ottawa police say they're ready to shut down Canada Day occupation attempts – CBC.ca
Ottawa city officials say they are prepared for a “unique” Canada Day, with plans to keep anti-government protests from turning into another occupation.
The traditional nationally broadcast shows are returning for the first time since 2019, this time from the plaza in front of the Canadian War Museum because of ongoing construction on Parliament Hill.
Ottawa police say they expect more protests and larger crowds than usual during Canada Day celebrations as groups related to the Freedom Convoy continue to plan demonstrations. Some in those groups have indicated they’d like to protest through July and August.
“This is expected to be a unique Canada Day, with larger crowds and a larger event footprint,” interim Ottawa police Chief Steve Bell said during a Monday news conference.
“We’ve developed our plans in the shadow of the unlawful protests and Rolling Thunder event. We’ve been speaking with community members and businesses and we’re very aware of the lingering trauma and concern about what they’re hearing after those events.”
Bell said officers will allow legal protests while shutting down illegal activities, including setting up structures or speakers without a permit and the threat of occupation, like on downtown streets in the winter.
He said police have been following online commentary and trying to talk to people who’ve said they’re coming to protest.
“[We’ve] planned, we’re prepared and we have the resources,” Bell replied when answering a question about whether police were ready to step in again like they did in late April, when attempts to gather near the Rideau Centre mall were shut down by officers.
Provincial police and the RCMP have offered help to shut down occupation attempts as long as there’s a risk, he said.
The Ottawa Police Services Board received an update on plans for Canada Day when it met Monday evening.
Bell spoke about the toll recent months have taken on officers, noting the demand is not “sustainable” and describing police as “fatigued” ahead of the long weekend.
“For this event we’ve actually had to cancel days off, we’ve cancelled discretionary time off, called people back from annual leave,” said the chief. “This is an all hands on deck event, but that has a cost on the health and wellbeing of our members.”
At least 5 days of traffic control
Last week, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told people thinking of coming to the capital “not to be intimidated by individuals who may be coming to Ottawa to cause trouble.”
He said Monday he wants this to be a safe, festive event for children and families and that people who “come to disrupt” will be dealt with, without a warning.
Bell told the police board that the force has been clear with its expectations for demonstrators, and that harassment won’t be tolerated.
“If there is a hate or bias crime incidents, if there’s intimidation or threats, we will actively investigate those,” he said, adding police know residents have “scars” from the occupation.
“I want to reassure you that those feelings, that trauma that our community has felt is front and centre in all of our planning efforts and will be front and centre in our response efforts.”
Overall, Bell said police are expecting hundreds of thousands of people downtown. For comparison, an estimated 56,000 people went to the shows on Parliament Hill in 2019 and that doesn’t count everyone celebrating nearby.
There will be the traditional Canada Day road closures Friday July 1 and early Saturday, though there are more closures near LeBreton Flats because of that change in show location.
But Ottawa police are establishing another “vehicle exclusion zone” — similar to what was set up in late April for the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally — with no street parking at all and no protest vehicles allowed in from 8 a.m. this Wednesday until at least 6 a.m. on Monday, July 4.
Those plans may change if needed, officials said Monday. People are asked to plan ahead, expect delays and check city pages and local media for updates.
How to play online casinos with minimal investment
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