USA soldier Bowe Bergdahl pleads guilty to desertion

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of desertion with intention to shirk duty and misbehavior before the enemy stemming from his 2009 disappearance and capture by the Taliban. The desertion charge carries a potential five-year sentence, while the misbehavior charge is punishable by life in prison.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl said Monday he is pleading guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Bergdahl, 31, was charged after he disappeared from his base in Afghanistan in June 2009 and was held in captivity by the Taliban until May 2014.

"I didn't think there'd be any reason to pull off a crucial mission to look for one guy", he said, adding his actions were "very inexcusable". The judge has ruled that a Navy SEAL who suffered a career-ending leg wound and an Army National Guard sergeant whose head wound put him in a wheel chair would not have been hurt in firefights had they not been searching for Bergdahl.

While Berghdahl's pleas enable him to avoid a trial, he'll still face a sentencing hearing scheduled to begin October 23.




In an interview filmed past year by a British filmmaker and obtained by ABC news, Bergdahl said that he didn't think it was possible for him to get a fair trial under President Donald Trump, who made Bergdahl a target during his campaign.

Defense lawyers have said those injuries can not be directly tied to Sergeant Bergdahl. That signals there was no deal on sentencing, according to the wire service.

The defense also was rebuffed in an effort to prove President Donald Trump had unfairly swayed the case with scathing criticism of Bergdahl, including suggestions of harsh punishment.

Bergdahl had told investigators he left to report leadership problems to a base about 18 miles away. He was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years until his release was negotiated in 2014 by the Obama administration as part of a prisoner exchange. 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.

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