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Cases linked to Dutch 'web abuser'

A Dutch man suspected of abusing victims over the internet with naked images of themselves may have targeted as many as 40 people in the Netherlands alone, and several dozen in other countries, a prosecutor says.

The 36-year-old suspect, identified under Dutch privacy laws only as Aydin C, is accused of possessing child pornography and blackmailing and harassing victims, in countries said to include the United States and Britain.

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 the problem of cyber bullying when she posted a video on YouTube in which she told her story - weeks before she committed suicide.

Prosecutor Annet Kramer said nine Dutch victims have agreed to press charges but her investigation has been impeded by technical complications. For instance, Aydin C has not assisted investigators in unencrypting digital storage devices that were seized when he was arrested in January.

His lawyer Christiaan 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, 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," Ms Kramer told judges.

She 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", followed by a sexual insult.

In another, the suspect allegedly told a young victim: "I don't care about your age."

During the hearing, which he did not attend, it emerged Aydin has declined voluntary psychological testing.

Ms Kramer said she expects to finish her investigation late this year, pushing any trial date into 2015.

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