The scheduled court-martial of SGT Bowe Bergdahl is slated to take place at Ft. Bragg, NC and will be the subject of intense media scrutiny. But the US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) has shelved the expect start of next week.
While no new date for the trial has been set, a hearing is scheduled for May 5, also at Ft. Bragg.
Bergdahl is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place. He could face life imprisonment if convicted of misbehavior before the enemy.
He walked off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was subsequently held by the Taliban for five years.
Charges were served to Bergdahl on Dec. 14, 2015, following an Article 32 preliminary hearing on Sept. 17 and 18, 2015, at Joint Base San Antonio.
In the latest motions, prosecutors filed a motion last week to request declassification for seven documents they plan to use during the proceedings.
The documents — all focused on an operation from July 9, 2009 — include pre-mission planning for the operation, eyewitness accounts during the operation and a summary of an Army investigation into the operation.
After Bergdahl’s desertion or capture by the Taliban, his battalion initiated a search for him. In the ensuing action, six members of his unit were killed. Bergdahl claimed to have gotten lost on a patrol and became separated from his unit. However, unit members have testified that there were no combat operations scheduled for the night that he disappeared. The next morning his gear was found neatly folded with just his compass missing.
Bergdahl had written his parents telling them his disillusion with the war and talked openly about walking to Pakistan.
His lawyers have filed several motions to the judges asking them to dismiss the case and use the campaign words of President Trump as grounds for dismissal as Bergdahl’s rights of due process have been violated.
Bergdahl remains on active duty at U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He is under no pre-trial confinement.
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Photo courtesy DOD