Joshua Boyle's lawyers want charge of misleading police thrown out

Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle speaks to media at Pearson airport Friday night.

Lawyers for former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle want a judge to toss out a charge that he misled police, one of several criminal counts he faces in Ontario court.

Boyle, 36, has pleaded not guilty to offences against estranged spouse Caitlan Coleman, including assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement, as well as a charge of misleading Ottawa police in the hours before he was arrested.

The offences are alleged to have occurred in late 2017 after the couple returned to Canada following five years as captives of Taliban-linked extremists who seized them during a backpacking trip to Asia.

In court today, Boyle's lawyers argued there is insufficient evidence to support the charge that Boyle misled police to believe Coleman was suicidal and missing to divert suspicion from himself the night of Dec. 30, 2017.

The Crown has agreed to modify a charge of sexual assault with a weapon, specifically ropes, to simply sexual assault.

Boyle's lawyers argue another charge of sexual assault with ropes should proceed as an allegation of assault with a weapon.