Bergdahl Charged With Desertion and Misbehavior
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured and held by the Taliban and its allies in Afghanistan for five years, has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, the Army said Wednesday.
 
The case has been referred for a preliminary hearing that’s equivalent to a grand jury in the military’s court-martial system, according to an Army statement.
While Bergdahl’s years in captivity may mitigate any potential punishment, he could face a maximum penalty of life in a military prison if convicted on the charge of “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.” The charge of “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty” can bring a maximum of five years’ confinement.
 
Both charges also could result in forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge. The Army didn’t disclose details of its case against Bergdahl, and said it won’t answer questions while the case is pending.
 
Bergdahl was released in May in a swap that freed five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after the U.S. said it received warnings that his life was in danger. Since then, the Army has been investigating the circumstances under which he left his unit at a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan.
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