Private Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his position in the U.S. Army by his own volition while he was stationed on a military base in Afghanistan, will not go to prison as a military judge has ruled this Friday. The sergeant was sentenced with a dishonorable dismissal, used to punish the worst conduct within the armed forces, and shall pay a fine of $10,000 over the next ten months.
The 31-year-old soldier, after declaring himself in the middle of October guilty of desertion of the army, was facing a sentence of up to life imprisonment. But, without explanations, Judge Col. Jeffery R. Nance, considered that the prison was not necessary and chose to remove the military veterans ' benefits in the U.S., including physicians. The verdict also reduces your rank of sergeant to private.
After knowing the court ruling, Donald Trump rejected it via Twitter. "The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and utter disgrace to our country and our army," said the president from the Air Force One, on his way to his tour of Asia. Trump had already put pressure on the case during his election campaign, when he crossed "traitor" and suggested that he should have been executed.
The sentence puts an end to eight years of debate on the controversial performance of Bergdahl in 2009. Destined in Afghanistan, the 23-year-old sergeant abandoned his base on foot without any clear intent. According to investigators of the case, he tried to reach another base in the United States but during the journey he was captured by a group affiliated to the Taliban. He remained in captivity for five years, during which he was subjected to brutal torture, until the administration of Barack Obama achieved his release in exchange for five Taliban states that had prisoners in Guantánamo. The exchange was criticized by those who believe that Bergdahl committed a serious crime that also put other troops at risk.
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