Ex-hostage Joshua Boyle makes video court appearance on 15 charges

Sergio Conner
January 13, 2018

A Canadian national who was held hostage by Afghan Taliban and was rescued by Pakistan Army in October was arrested in his home country on 15 charges including sexual assault, illegal confinement and issuing death threats.

In an emailed statement sent to the Toronto Star late Tuesday, Boyle's wife Caitlan Coleman also refused to address the charges directly.

The 34-year-old Canadian was held hostage by a Taliban-lined insurgent group for five years before being rescued along with his USA wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three children in Pakistan in October. The provincial court issued an order preventing publication of information that could identify any alleged victims, different from laws in the United States where media generally don't identify potential victims of sexual assault without their consent.

Joshua Boyle speaks to the media after arriving with his wife and three children to Toronto Pearson International Airport, almost 5 years after he and his wife were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 13, 2017.

He is due to make a brief court appearance on Wednesday.

Joshua Boyle Arrested For Sexual Assault, Forcible Confinement

Boyle and Coleman's rescue made worldwide headlines several months ago after their dramatic rescue and descriptions of the "Kafkaesque nightmare" they endured in captivity.

A hearing on the case is scheduled for Wednesday in Ottawa, but the lawyer says Boyle will not attend in person. Coleman was pregnant at the time of their kidnapping, and all their children were born during their time in captivity. He's never been in trouble before, " said attorney Eric Granger. "We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges", Granger said in an email to AFP.

The official said Trudeau agreed to the meeting because of the ordeal the Boyle family had been through and that he would have met any other Canadian who had endured a similar experience. He also posted a picture on Twitter of the premier holding one of their young children.

They said Harper typically had phone calls with newly rescued hostages, including with James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden (released from Iraq in 2006), Mellissa Fung (released from Afghanistan in 2008), and Bob Fowler and Louis Guay (released from West Africa in 2009). Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the operation was based on a tip from US intelligence.

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