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U.S. Army Sergeant Bergdahl To Face Court-Martial For Desertion

Former Private First Class (Pfc) Bowe Bergdahl, before his capture by the Taliban in Afghanistan, 2014.

The U.S. Army on December 14 announced that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl -- the U.S. soldier held captive for nearly five years by the Afghan Taliban -- is being charged with desertion and “misbehavior before the enemy” in a court-martial.

If found guilty of the second charge, Bergdahl could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Bergdahl -- who walked off his post in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009 -- was exchanged in 2014 for five former Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay.

His attorney, Eugene Fidell, complained that U.S. political figures have made derogatory statements about Bergdahl that have defamed him and “prejudice our client’s right to a fair trial.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called Bergdahl a traitor.

Last week, a House committee issued a 98-page report criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to swap the five Taliban detainees for Bergdahl.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP