Bowe Bergdahl pleads guilty to desertion

Adjust Comment Print

Oren Gleich, which is an indication that they did not reach a deal to limit his punishment. According to the New York Times, the charge of desertion carries a punishment of up to five years in prison if the military court at Fort Bragg, North Carolina finds Bergdahl guilty.

The sentencing hearing is expected to start on 23 October. Attorneys for Bergdahl requested to have potential jurors answer questions about the president in a pre-trial questionnaire, though the trial's judge declined in June an attempt to include the question of whether those potential jurors voted for Trump. The guilty pleas bring the highly politicized saga closer to an end eight years after his disappearance in Afghanistan set off search missions by scores of his fellow service members.

President Donald Trump repeatedly said during his presidential campaign that Bergdahl was a traitor, and claimed he should have been shot.

By admitting his guilt, Sgt Bergdahl, who chose to have his case heard by a judge rather than a jury, appears to be hoping for leniency.

The five years Sergeant Bergdahl spent in captivity is likely to be borne in mind in sentencing by the judge, who has accepted his plea.

Wind warning issued for this afternoon
Environment Canada advised drivers to be prepared for "changing road conditions" as a result of the strong winds. Environment Canada says that it only issues wind warnings when there is a "significant risk of damaging winds".

"You know, it's just insulting frankly", Bergdahl said.

Sergeant Bergdahl had a different explanation, telling the Army's chief investigator, Maj.

In a serial podcast on his case two years ago broadcast by National Public Radio, Bergdahl said that he "left his post to try to stir controversy in order to get the attention of top military officials so he could explain problems he saw in the Army". However, what both parties can agree on is that the Taliban subsequently captured him and held him until 2014, at which point the Obama administration swapped five Taliban prisoners in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl's release. But the defense team has argued that Bergdahl can't be held responsible for a long chain of events that included many decisions by others on how to conduct the searches.

Bergdahl, who's from Hailey, Idaho, has been assigned to desk duty at a Texas Army base while his case unfolds.