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Bergdahl Hearing On Desertion Charges Starts

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl (R) waits before being released at the Afghan border (still image from video released in June, 2014).

The U.S. Army on September 17 will hold a first hearing on desertion charges against Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan for five years before being released in a controversial prisoner exchange last year.

The hearing will be held at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where Bergdahl has been stationed since returning to the United States. It could last several days.

Bergdahl's lead attorney, Eugene Fidell, has said that the hearing will provide the public with details about what led to the Idaho native's disappearance from his post in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

Before disappearing, Bergdahl had expressed opposition to the war in general and misgivings about his own role in it.

Fidell said he plans to call witnesses, but he declined to say whether Bergdahl would be among them.

Military prosecutors declined to discuss the hearing.

The 29-year-old was charged in March with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. If convicted of the misbehavior charge, he could face up to life in a military prison.

Based on reporting by AP and The Wall Street Journal