World

Charges Keep Piling Up For Former Haqqani Hostage Joshua Boyle

REUTERS/Mark Blinch - RC1D9C2D9F90

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Criminal charges keep coming for the former hostage released from the grip of Taliban-affiliated forces last October. Joshua Boyle who, along with his American wife Caitlan Coleman, spent five years in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a prisoner, now faces 19 charges — all stemming from accusations leveled since Boyle returned to Canada.

Boyle has spent most of January in jail and will now be sent to a mental hospital in Brockville, Ontario for a full psychiatric assessment lasting 60 days. The defense requested the examination Friday and the Crown had no objections.

“He’s been through five years as a hostage and it should be no surprise to anybody that … as a result of that, it’s affected his mental health,” Boyle’s principal lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon told reporters Friday. Greenspon is a noted Ottawa lawyer who is often associated with high-profile cases.

Boyle was originally charged with 15 counts relating to assault, sexual assault, administering a noxious substance and forcible confinement.

The Crown decided to withdraw those charges on Friday and issued 19 new ones that include sexual assault with a rope, sexual assault, nine counts of assault, assault with a broomstick and three counts of unlawful confinement.

Questions remain about Boyle’s past — including a previous marriage to the elder sister of confessed killer and former terrorist Omar Khadr. When Boyle and his wife were captured by terrorists, the couple was backpacking in an area of Afghanistan controlled by Taliban-affiliated Haqqani forces.

The charges laid by Ottawa police all relate to offenses that allegedly occurred between Oct. 14 and Dec. 30, 2017.

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