Reports: U.S. soldier released by Taliban to be charged with desertion

Courtesy: CNN

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WASHINGTON – An Army sergeant, who was held captive by the Taliban for five years, is expected to be charged with desertion, according to NBC News.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl went missing on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, where he was deployed with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

Bergdahl was held captive by militants for five years before he was released in May in exchange for five senior Taliban members held by the U.S. military.

An Army fact-finding investigation conducted in the months after his disappearance concluded he left his outpost deliberately and of his own free will, according to an official who was briefed on the report.

Some critics of the swap have said Bergdahl was a deserter who endangered colleagues searching for him.

According to NBC News, Bergdahl is accused of leaving his outpost to avoid hazardous duty or important service, which are grounds for charges of desertion under the Uniform Code of Justice.

While he could face imprisonment, officials tell NBC that it is likely Bergdahl will be permitted to leave the Army with a “less than honorable discharge.”

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