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Army Officer Recommends 'No Jail Time For Bergdahl'

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Berghdal is pictured in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Army and received by Reuters on May 31, 2014

The U.S. military officer who headed a hearing in the case of a sergeant accused of leaving his post in Afghanistan has reportedly recommended that the man be spared a prison sentence.

According Bowe Bergdahl’s lawyers, the presiding officer at the hearing last month in Texas also recommended he face a lower-level court martial.

Military officials were not immediately available for comment.

Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after leaving his post in 2009, and held until last year, when he was exchanged for five Taliban commanders.

He was charged in March with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

At present his charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

If he faces a lower-level hearing, the maximum punishment would be limited to a reduction of rank, a bad-conduct discharge, or a term of up to a year in prison.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters