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Bergdahl Case Goes Before U.S. Forces Commanding General

File photo of Bowe Bergdahl (2nd R, back facing) being led to the American military during his release at the Afghan border in June, 2014.

The U.S. Army’s desertion case against Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl progressed a step, with an investigating officer who oversaw a hearing last month sending recommendations on whether he should be court-martialed.

Bergdahl’s attorney said that Lieutenant Colonel Mark A. Visger submitted his recommendations to U.S. Army Forces Command October 5. They will remain secret for now, despite Bergdahl's protests.

In the high-profile case, Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after leaving his unit in Afghanistan and held captive for nearly five years until the White House approved a deal last year that freed him in exchange for the release of five Taliban prisoners. The Army launched a massive manhunt to find him that lasted months.

General Robert B. Abrams, commanding general of the Command, will decide whether the Army court-martials Bergdahl.

Legal experts say the soldier has a good chance of avoiding imprisonment even if he is formally tried on the charges, because of the torture and abuse he suffered at the hands of the Taliban.

Based on reporting by AP, Washington Post and Stars and Stripes