US Officials: Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl To Be Charged With Desertion

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March 25, 2015 2:13 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. official says the Army sergeant who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years will be court martialed on charges of desertion and avoiding military service.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will also be charged with misbehavior before the enemy, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the announcement publicly on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. military plans an announcement at Fort Bragg in North Carolina Wednesday afternoon.

Bergdahl walked away from his post in Afghanistan and was captured, then released from Taliban capture in a prisoner exchange.

Gen. Mark Milley, head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, has been reviewing the massive case files and had a broad range of legal options, including various degrees of desertion charges.

A major consideration was whether military officials would be able to prove that Bergdahl had no intention of returning to his unit — a key element in the more serious desertion charges.

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Associated Press Writer Donna Cassata contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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