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Prosecutors Recommending Bergdahl to 14 Years in Prison

Image: Prosecutors Recommending Bergdahl to 14 Years in Prison
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (Andrew Craft/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 02 Nov 2017 05:54 PM

Army prosecutors Thursday recommended former Taliban captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl be sentenced to 14 years in a military prison for deserting and endangering his fellow soldiers after he walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Army Col. Jeffery Nance, the judge overseeing Bergdahl's case, said he could determine the soldier's fate by Friday, Stars and Stripes reported.

"Sgt. Bergdahl does not have a monopoly on suffering as a result of his choices," Maj. Justin Oshana, the lead prosecutor, told Nance. "The difference is all of the [other] suffering stems from his choice."

Oshana called the 14-year prison term "not only an appropriate sentence in this case, it's what justice requires," NBC News reported.

Defense attorneys are recommending a dishonorable discharge and no jail time, arguing Bergdahl was punished enough during his five years of captivity by Taliban-linked militants in Pakistan.

"Justice is not rescuing Sgt. Bergdahl from his Taliban captors and the cage he spent years inside only to place him in a cell," Army Capt. Nina Banks argued, Stars and Stripes reported, saying Bergdahl's documented mental health conditions precluded him from understanding the chain of events that would occur after his "horrible mistake" of walking off his the post.

She added Bergdahl is "apologetic and remorseful" for the injuries suffered by three fellow soldiers who were among those looking for him, Stars and Stripes reported.

"We don't have a situation here where there is malice and ill-will," she said. "The same enemy that held captive and tortured Sgt. Bergdahl for five years is responsible for those injuries."

Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, and faces a maximum punishment up to life imprisonment, reduction in rank to private, forfeiture of all pay and a dishonorable discharge.

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Deserting and endangering fellow soldiers after walking off post in Afghanistan in 2009 should net former Taliban captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl a sentenced of 14 years in a military prison, Army prosecutors recommended Thursday.
bowe bergdahl, military prison, 14 years, recommendation
Thursday, 02 Nov 2017 05:54 PM
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