WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — CBS News reports Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion.

“Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s attorney tells me he has been charged with desertion and ‘misbehavior before the enemy,'” CBS News’ Katy Conrad reports.

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Gene Fidell, Bergdahl’s attorney, told The Telegraph that it’s “premature” to see how Bergdahl pleads.

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The Army sergeant who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban could face up to life in prison if convicted of both the charges he’s facing, military officials said Wednesday.

According to U.S. military law, both charges are punishable by death.

“Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct,” the desertion law reads.

Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years before being released in a prisoner exchange.

U.S. Army Forces Command, based in North Carolina, said it will discuss the “next planned steps” Wednesday afternoon.

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

A major consideration is 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.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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