Bergdahl says he will plead guilty to desertion, misbehavior before enemy

Elias Hubbard
October 16, 2017

"It's very insulting, the idea that they would think I did that".

Bergdahl is accused of putting fellow soldiers at risk by leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

The misbehavior charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, while the desertion charge is punishable by up to five years. He appears to be hoping for leniency from the judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance.

In 2009, Bergdahl disappeared in Afghanistan and launched a search and rescue mission by his comrades that he left behind.

The Idaho native was brought back to the U.S.as part of a prisoner swap orchestrated by former President Barack Obama.

The serious wounds to service members who searched for Bergdahl are still expected to play a role in his sentencing. His sentencing is set to begin on October 23. Bergdahl's five years of captivity by the Taliban and its allies also will likely factor into what punishment he receives.

In August, Bergdahl chose to be tried by a military judge instead of a jury. Neither side has said whether Bergdahl has entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors.

During the presidential campaign, Trump railed about Bergdahl and suggested that during the old days he would have been shot.

The defense has unsuccessfully attempted to use the Commander in Chief's comments as something that had unfairly swayed the case. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, that he made a decision to leave his base so he could walk to a larger base about 18 miles away in order to report what he felt were leadership problems in his own unit. He was soon captured. That information was included in the hundreds of pages of documents that Bergdahl's defense team releases on a website called The Bergdahl Docket.

Bergdahl has been assigned to desk duty at a Texas Army base while his case unfolds.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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