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U.S. Army's Court-Martial Of Bergdahl Postponed Until 2017


The U.S. Army postponed until 2017 its court-martial of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl (right) for leaving his post in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army postponed until 2017 its court-martial of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl (right) for leaving his post in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army delayed until next year a court-martial of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who is charged with deserting his unit in Afghanistan, leading to his capture by the Taliban for five years.

The U.S. Army announced a February 6, 2017, start date for his trial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The trial was originally scheduled to start in August, but a military judge delayed proceedings to allow legal teams more time to prepare.

Bergdahl, 30, disappeared from Combat Outpost Mest-Malak in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, on June 20, 2009.

After departing, the soldier was quickly captured by militants from the feared Haqqani faction of the Taliban.

Bergdahl's disappearance triggered a massive search operation.

He was eventually released in 2014 in a controversial prisoner swap for five Taliban prisoners being held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay.

If convicted of desertion, Bergdahl could serve up to five years in prison, receive a dishonorable discharge, lose his rank, and forfeit all pay.

But he also faces a second more serious charge -- "misbehavior before the enemy" -- that could carry a life sentence.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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