No prison time for U.S. soldier Bergdahl in desertion case

by Garry Watts November 6, 2017, 0:18
No prison time for U.S. soldier Bergdahl in desertion case

The judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, had wide discretion in determining a sentence for Bergdahl, who walked off his military post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held by the Taliban for five years. The dishonorable discharge won't take effect until all appeals are exhausted, Fidell said, but the demotion in rank and the forfeiture of pay take effect immediately. The judge made no other comments.

US President Donald Trump condemned the military judge's decision on Twitter, calling it a "complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military". Now, Bergdahl has been sentenced and, contrary to Trump's wishes, he will not be given the death penalty. President Trump had called Sgt Bergdahl 'a traitor.' Sean Langan, who made a documentary about Sgt Berghdahl and was also held captive by the Taliban, told Julian Marshall about today's verdict.

While Bergdahl faced the possibility of life in prison, many people, including Kenneth Dahl, the Army general who led the investigation into Bergdahl's actions, felt that jail time would be "inappropriate." Bragg, North Carolina has ruled that Bowe Bergdahl won't be behind bars after pleading guilty to desertion and misconduct.

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 14 years in prison.

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The sergeant already has a job offer from an animal sanctuary, and a military official who helps design survival training said he would like to use Bergdahl as a part of lectures to service members on how to survive captivity.

The 31-year-old, from Hailey, Idaho, was brought home by Mr Obama in 2014 in a swap for five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. He could have given him anything from no prison time to life in prison.

Bergdahl's defense lawyers twice tried to have the case dismissed over campaign trail comments from President Trump.


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