Sparing deserter Bergdahl prison time 'complete and total disgrace', says Trump

A United States army sergeant, who was court martialled after deserting his post in Afghanistan, has been given a dishonorable discharge. The judge had wide leeway because Bergdahl made no deal with prosecutors to limit his sentence.

Bergdahl's civilian attorney - at a news conference after the sentence was announced, said, "Sgt. Bergdahl has looked forward to today for a long time". He was held captive by Taliban allies for five years. "He has lost almost a decade of his life".

A punitive discharge deprives Bergdahl of most or all his veterans benefits. Instead, he will be dishonorably discharged from the military, as reported by CNN, and his rank reduced from sergeant to private and he will be "required to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next 10 months".

Bergdahl previously pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and faced a potential life sentence in prison.

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The presidents comment on Twitter came Friday, less than an hour after the White House declined to comment on the sentence.

He wrote, "The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military". They also said Bergdahl had suffered enough confinement during five years in Taliban captivity.

Prosecutors had been seeking 14 years in prison, while defense lawyers had asked for no prison time and a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge.

The 31-year-old, from Hailey, Idaho, was brought home by Mr Obama in 2014 in a swap for five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.


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