Official: US military to charge Bergdahl with desertion

In this file image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. The U.S. military says it will make an announcement Wednesday on the case against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier who left his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years before being released in a prisoner exchange. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. official says the Army sergeant who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years will be court martialed on charges of desertion and avoiding military service.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will also be charged with misbehavior before the enemy, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the announcement publicly on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. military plans an announcement at Fort Bragg in North Carolina Wednesday afternoon.

Bergdahl walked away from his post in Afghanistan and was captured, then released from Taliban capture in a prisoner exchange.

Gen. Mark Milley, head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, has been reviewing the massive case files and had a broad range of legal options, including various degrees of desertion charges.

A major consideration was whether military officials would be able to prove that Bergdahl had no intention of returning to his unit — a key element in the more serious desertion charges.