US Army sergeant, Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion

The US Army sergeant, Bowe Bergdahl, who left his base in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban and imprisoned for five years, will be charged with deserting his post according to Anfip.

If he is convicted of charges, he faces life in prison, military officials said Wednesday.

Bergdahl could also face dishonorable discharge, degradation and loss of all pay if convicted.

The case will now proceed to a hearing at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, a procedure similar to a civil hearing. Hence, it could be referred to a court martial and go to trial.

The hearing date was not announced.

The filing of charges is the latest twist in a long and emotional debate on the case of Bergdahl.

This case has also highlighted the military and political ramifications of Bowe's decision on June 30, 2009 to leave his base, after expressing doubts about the role of the US armed forces in Afghanistan.

After leaving the base, Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban and held captive by members of the militant Haqqani network, a group linked to the Taliban operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On May 31, Bergdahl was delivered to US special forces in Afghanistan in exchange for five Taliban commanders prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.

After spending two weeks recovering in a US military hospital in Germany, Bergdahl was sent to the Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas on June 13th, where he has been performing administrative tasks.

The prisoner exchange sparked a heated debate over whether America should have released five Taliban for Bowe.

Major General Kenneth R. Dahl investigated the case of Bergdahl and spent months interviewing members and commanders of his unit, and meeting with Bergdahl and his lawyer, Eugene Fidell, an expert on military justice also teaches at the University of Harvard.

Dahl submitted his report in mid-October, which began the process of the legal review of the report and options of the armed forces.