Bowe Bergdahl, former missing US soldier, charged with desertion

Bergdahl was in captivity in Pakistan for five years

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Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy on Wednesday, about 10 months after he was found in Afghanistan after spending five years in captivity, the Washington Post reported.

Mr Bergdahl could face life in prison if he is convicted, though officials have said they do not wish to see him spend time behind bars, reports say.

Mr Bergdahl’s lawyer, Eugene Fidell, told reporters that his client was informed of his charges on Tuesday. The Army will announce the charges on Wednesday afternoon from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The sergeant went missing from his base in Paktika province in Afghanistan on 30 June, 2009 because he allegedly had stopped believing in the US mission in the country.

He was picked up by the Haqqani network, a group working with the Taliban, and held for five years, before a deal was brokered to secure his release. As part of that controversial deal, the US released five Taliban members to Qatar.

After Mr Bergdahl was released, US officials began investigating the circumstances surrounding him going missing. The investigation was finished in October and the Army is expected to release the outcome on Wednesday.