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Bergdahl charged with desertion and misbehavior

Bowe Bergdahl has been charged in connection with his disappearance from the US Army in Afghanistan. The former prisoner of war was captured by the Taliban and placed under investigation on his release last year.

US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl (pictured above when he was a Taliban hostage) was on Wednesday charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

His attorney, Eugene Fidell, a lecturer at Yale Law School, said the Army had scheduled an Article 32 hearing for April 22 in San Antonio, Texas, where Bergdahl is based.

The hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with a general court martial.

The confirmation of the charges laid against Bergdahl came shortly after US Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg in North Carolina announced that there would be an update on the Bergdahl case.

In a live televised address broadcast by news channels across the world, an Army spokesman said Bergdahl faced potential life imprisonment for misbehavior before the enemy and a five-year sentence for desertion.

Both charges carry the punishment of dishonorable discharge and reduction of rank.

Questions over Bergdahl's disappearance

Afghanistan / Bowe Bergdahl / von Taliban verschleppter US-Soldat

Still from video Bergdahl when he was being held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan, December 2009

Bergdahl's case was under review after questions were raised about the circumstances of his capture by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan in 2009.

It is alleged that the US Army Sergeant disappeared from his unit early one morning after doing guard duty.

Bergdahl was released in May 2014 after the Obama administration agreed to send five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to the Gulf state of Qatar in exchange.

lw/kms (AFP, Reuters)

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