A military judge in the desertion case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl ordered the government Thursday to turn over emails from top military leaders to Bergdahl’s defense attorneys so they can determine if top brass unfairly influenced the case, the Associated Press reported.

The judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, ordered the government to release emails regarding the case that were sent and received by the head of U.S. Army Forces Command and his predecessor, along with communications by others involved in decisions on how Bergdahl’s case has been handled, the AP reported. Army Forces Command has jurisdiction over the case.

The judge declined defense requests for emails from other military officials during a pretrial hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Bergdahl, who was held captive by insurgents for five years after walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The charges carry a potential life sentence. His case is scheduled to go before a court martial next February.

It has been a politically charged case since Bergdahl was released from custody in 2014 after the White House agreed to release five Taliban prisoners who had been held in Guantanamo Bay.

Read more at USA Today

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