According to multiple reports, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier released from captivity in return for five high-ranking Taliban commanders, will be charged by the military with desertion.
Berghdahl attorney Eugene Fidell reportedly told journalists that Bergdahl was presented with a charge sheet on Tuesday. In addition to the desertion charge, Bergdahl will also be charged for “misbehavior before the enemy.”
Bergdahl, who was captured in 2009 after leaving a military base in Afghanistan, became a political flashpoint in 2014 after President Barack Obama secured his release in return for five Taliban commanders without notifying Congress as required by law. Initially hailed as a hero, his platoon-mates began to publicly speak out about how Bergdahl was only captured after deserting his fellow troops.
“Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him,” one of his fellow soldiers said. “I don’t understand why we’re trading prisoners at Gitmo for somebody who deserted during a time of war, which is an act of treason.” (VIDEO: Napolitano: Did Obama ‘Provide Material Assistance To A Terrorist Organization?’)
The charges are expected to be officially announced at a 3:30 press conference from Fort Bragg, NC. Rumors that Bergdahl would be charged have been floating since January, with some wondering why the military investigation announced last June was taking so long.