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article imageCanadian ex-Afghan captive still jailed, hearing delayed

By AFP     Jan 8, 2018 in World

A Canadian man held captive for years in Afghanistan and charged in his home country with 15 offences remained in detention on Monday awaiting a bail hearing delayed to next week.

The judge granted lawyers for Joshua Boyle, 34, more time to prepare for his possible release on bail and scheduled a new hearing for January 15.

Bail would normally include arrangements for his supervision, where he would stay and other conditions.

Boyle appeared for about one minute at the hearing via videolink from an Ottawa detention center, wearing an orange jumpsuit and sporting a wispy beard.

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He let out a sigh and furrowed his brow as the judge made his ruling.

Boyle and his American wife Caitlin Coleman were held captive by a faction of the Afghan Taliban for five years. They were freed last October along with their three children born in captivity before returning to Canada.

Canadian authorities charged him last week with 15 counts including assault, sexual assault and illegal confinement.

He was also charged with uttering death threats, misleading police, and causing a person to take a "noxious substance."

Court documents allege the crimes were committed after his return to Canada.

The court has ordered a publication ban on the identities of his victims.

In an earlier statement, Coleman did not comment on the specific charges against her husband but blamed "the strain and trauma he was forced to endure for so many years and the effects that that had on his mental state."

She said it was "with compassion and forgiveness that I... hope help and healing can be found for him."

Boyle and Coleman, who married in 2011, were kidnapped by the Taliban during what they described as a backpacking trip through war-torn Afghanistan in 2012. They were later transferred to the custody of the Haqqani faction, known for its alleged ties to the Pakistani military.

Pakistan's military said the family was freed in a daring rescue operation.

But some US and Canadian officials have questioned that account, suggesting to news outlets it may have involved a "negotiated handover" with the Haqqani network which Islamabad is said to covertly back.

More about Canada, Crime, Assault, Afghanistan, Taliban
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