Bergdahl gets no prison time

04 November, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Bergdahl gets no prison time

Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant who walked off his post in Afghanistan and triggered a search that wounded some of his comrades, will serve no prison time, a military judge ruled Friday at the end of the politically divisive case that stirred debate during the president campaign.

He tweeted, "The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military".

The judge also ordered Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban, to be dishonorably discharged and recommended that he be demoted.

The judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, reduced Bergdahl's military grade to the lowest level in announcing his sentence.

He pleaded guilty last month to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

In court, Bergdahl appeared tense, grimaced and clenched his jaw.

In court, Bergdahl showed remorse by crying, and he apologized to those who had risked their lives for him.

In closing arguments, defence lawyers argued that he had already suffered enough confinement during five years of brutal captivity.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's sentence for deserting his post came down today. Bergdahl, 31, was held by the Taliban for five years before being released in a prisoner swap in 2014.


"This has been a awful ordeal", Eugene Fidell, one of the soldier's lawyers, said after the hearing.

A punitive discharge deprives Bergdahl of most or all of his veterans' benefits.

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 14 years in prison.

In May 2014, Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan in exchange for five Taliban detainees, who were released from Guantanamo Bay prison and flown to Qatar.

Bergdahl suffered from numerous mental illnesses, including schizotypal personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder; and Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist and professor at the University of New Haven and Yale University testified on Wednesday that Bergdahl suffered these problems before enlisting.

Bergdahl's defense lawyers twice tried to have the case dismissed over campaign trail comments from President Trump.

As a presidential candidate, Trump called for Bergdahl to face stiff punishment.

Bergdahl, who has said he wanted to report problems in his unit, apologised in court this week for the suffering he caused his comrades and admitted he had made "a awful mistake".

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