Joshua Boyle appears in court, case adjourned until next week
Former hostage Joshua Boyle appeared briefly via teleconference in an Ottawa courthouse Wednesday morning as his lawyers asked the judge for more time to come up with plans for seeking bail.
Boyle, who appeared alert and aware in his appearance before the court in an orange jumpsuit from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Facility, will remain in police custody for the time being and while it had been expected his mother would appear before the court today, that did not happen.
Further details on a date for a bail hearing are expected Monday once Boyle’s lawyers present their plans to the judge.
In a prepared statement, lawyers Lawrence Greenspon and Eric Granger said Boyle “is presumed innocent of all charges. He has no criminal record and has never been in trouble with the police.”
The legal team said it is now waiting to receive more information about the allegations “so that we can respond to them appropriately in court in defending Mr. Boyle. As the matter is currently before the courts, we have no further comments at this time, and Mr. Boyle will not be making any statements.”
In an emailed statement sent to the Toronto Star late Tuesday, Boyle’s wife Caitlan Coleman also refused to address the charges directly. According to the paper, Coleman said her husband is responsible for his own actions, but “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.”
Boyle is charged with eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault, one count of uttering a death threat, two counts of unlawful confinement, and one count of forcing an individual to ingest a noxious substance – in this case, the sleep-inducing anti-depressant trazodone.
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Boyle also faces one count of misleading a peace officer by trying to convince them that another individual was suicidal in order to “divert suspicion from himself,” according to court documents.
None of the allegations have been proven in court. The identity or identities of the victim or victims are protected by a publication ban.
The Boyle family became the subject of international headlines last fall after a daring rescue mission freed them from captivity in Pakistan. They were held both in Pakistan and Afghanistan during their ordeal.
Boyle also became a familiar name to Canadians while he was married to Zaynab Khadr, the sister of Omar Khadr, who received a $10-million settlement from the federal government last year for Canada’s failure to protect his rights while he was detained and tortured for years at Guantanamo Bay.
Boyle acted as the spokesperson for the Khadr family in 2008 when Zaynab Khadr staged a hunger strike on Parliament Hill to protest her brother’s detention but the pair divorced in 2010 and Boyle married Coleman in 2011 before vanishing during a trip to Afghanistan in 2012.
Boyle, Coleman and their three young children are now living in a downtown Ottawa apartment.
The incidents are alleged to have taken place between Oct. 14 – the day after the family returned to Canada – and Dec. 30, according to court documents.
The family met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last month at his office on Parliament Hill and when asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office said only that “the prime minister did meet with them and confirmed it at the time.”
A government official also told Global News that the meeting between the Boyle family and Trudeau had been requested by the family, and that it is normal for the prime minister to accept requests to meet from Canadians who have been detained abroad.
– With files from Monique Scotti
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.