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Psychiatric assessment of former hostage Joshua Boyle extended by two weeks

OTTAWA — Another two weeks are needed to complete a psychiatric assessment of former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle, who faces several assault charges.

Boyle dialled in via telephone to a brief court hearing today, and his next appearance is slated for April 9 via video conference.

Lawrence Greenspon, a lawyer for Boyle, told the court in late January that an initial evaluation found his client fit to stand trial, but added that he would benefit from a fuller assessment at a mental health centre in Brockville, Ont.

READ MORE: Former hostage Joshua Boyle to undergo psychiatric assessment

Boyle was arrested by Ottawa police in December and charged with various offences including assault, sexual assault, unlawful confinement and causing someone to take a noxious substance.

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The charges against the 34-year-old relate to two alleged victims, but a court order prohibits the publication of any details that might identify them or any witnesses.

READ MORE: Former hostage Joshua Boyle arrested, facing 15 criminal charges

Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were taken hostage in 2012 by a Taliban-linked group while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan. The couple — along with the three children they had during their five years in captivity — were freed by Pakistani forces last October.

None of the charges, which relate to incidents that allegedly occurred between Oct. 14 and Dec. 30, after Boyle returned to Canada from captivity, have been tested in court.

The family had been living in an Ottawa apartment for about a month when Boyle was arrested.

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