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Bergdahl spared any prison time, gets dishonorable discharge

Bergdahl spared any prison time, gets dishonorable discharge

He will serve no prison time for endangering his fellow soldiers when he walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban. He will lose his rank, be dishonorably discharged from the Army and be forced to forfeit $10,000 in payments. Bergdahl claimed he had left his post in 2009 to walk through the Taliban-filled eastern Afghanistan countryside to a larger U.S. base to report command problems in his unit. His actions endangered comrades, wounding some, and he faced the possibility of life in prison at one point, though prosecutors were asking for a 14-year sentence.

The military court heard testimony from three current and former soldiers who were wounded while searching for Bergdahl.

He said he looks forward to the appeal, adding: "We think there's an extremely strong basis for dismissal of the case".

One of the wounded soldiers, Jonathan Morita of California, still doesn't have full use of his dominant hand after bones were shattered when he was hit by an RPG, which didn't explode. "Sgt. Bergdahl paid a bitter price for the choices that he made".

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he's "incredibly disappointed" in the sentence Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl received from a military judge. He'll pay the fine like people get fined for illegal fishing. It should have maybe not been the life sentence, but it should have been something.

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President Donald Trump, whose campaign-trail criticism loomed over the case, quickly called the sentence a "disgrace".

Prosecutors acknowledged that Bergdahl suffered during his years as a prisoner of the Taliban, but argued that did not diminish the pain of fellow service members who were injured during the futile hunt for him.

Bergdahl testified for two hours and described the brutal conditions he endured while held captive by the Taliban.

"Hypothetically, he probably should not have been in the Army", said Capt. Nina Banks, one of Bergdahl's military defense attorneys, in her closing argument.

Prosecutors said the soldier should spend 14 years behind bars for endangering U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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President Donald Trump says a judge's ruling that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will serve no prison time is a "complete and total disgrace".

During his time in captivity, Bergdahl said he was tortured, beaten and spent months chained to a bed or locked in a cage while his health deteriorated.

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. He has been working a desk job at a military installation in San Antonio and was not under any pretrial restrictions.

During the campaign, Trump called Bergdahl a "dirty, rotten traitor" and said he "should be shot" for deserting his post.

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