Home National Former Taliban Hostage Boyale arrested in ottawa. 15 charges laid out.

Former Taliban Hostage Boyale arrested in ottawa. 15 charges laid out.

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A Canadian man who was held captive by the Taliban for five years appeared in court on Wednesday to face 15 charges including sexual assault.

Joshua Boyle, 34, was freed in October along with his American wife Caitlan and their three children, all of whom were born in captivity.

The couple, who married in 2011, was seized while backpacking through Afghanistan in 2012. They were then transferred to be held hostage by the Haqqani Network, a militant Islamist group believed to have the support of elements of Pakistan’s security forces.

On his release Mr Boyle was initially reluctant to board the flight out of Pakistan, refusing to board a US military plane and saying his conversion to Islam and long-standing support for freed Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr would make him a target for US officials. He was briefly married to Khadr’s sister.

But he was convinced to fly to Canada, and, after a short period living with his parents in the small town of Smiths Falls, 50 miles south of Ottawa, the family settled in the Canadian capital.

Mr Boyle was arrested on New Year’s Day, accused of crimes committed between October 14 and December 30. The victims were two unnamed women.

He faces eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault and two counts of unlawful confinement, as well as one each of misleading police to “divert suspicion from himself,” uttering a death threat, and administering a noxious substance, the anti-depressant Trazodone.

During his brief court appearance on Wednesday, via videolink, Mr Boyle could be seen wearing an orange shirt at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, where he has been held since his arrest. A bail hearing was scheduled for Monday.

Eric Granger, one of Mr Boyle’s lawyers, said his client was “presumed innocent” and had never been in any form of legal trouble before.

“We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges,” he said.

Mrs Boyle would not comment on the specific charges, but in a statement to The Toronto Star said: “I can say that ultimately it is the strain and trauma he was forced to endure for so many years and the effects that that had on his mental state that is most culpable for this”.


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