Attorneys for accused Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl asked a military judge on Monday to dismiss charges against the soldier, alleging the case has been unfairly influenced by the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Comments made by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., about Bergdahl and the controversial swap that freed him after he was held captive by the Taliban for five years have made it impossible for him to receive a fair trial, the attorneys argue in the motion filed late Monday. At the very least, they say, Judge Col. Jeffrey R. Nance should limit Bergdahl’s potential sentence to no punishment.
Bergdahl, 30, was captured by Taliban fighters in June 2009 after leaving his post in eastern Afghanistan. He was freed in May 2014 after the White House approved the release of five senior-level Taliban detainees to Qatar from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
In March 2015, the Army charged Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy; he faces a potential sentence of life imprisonment if convicted of the more serious misbehavior charge.
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