Bergdahl Retains Lawyer For Army Investigation Into His Disappearance

Jul 14, 2014

The investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s capture is ongoing.  Northwest Public Radio has learned that Bergdahl has retained a lawyer who will be with him during questioning by Army investigators. In the meantime, the former POW will return to regular duty an Army base in Texas.  The investigation into the circumstances of his capture complicates his release from the military.

File photo of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl
Credit U.S. Army

The Army says Sgt. Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, has completed the final phase of his medical recovery. He’s being moved to what's expected to be largely administrative work at Fort Sam Houston.

Legal expert Geoffrey Corn says Bergdahl is now in a holding pattern. Corn teaches at South Texas College of Law and is a retired Army officer. He says Bergdahl can't be discharged as long as he's the subject of an investigation into misconduct.

“Once he is discharged from the military, they can't bring him back involuntarily – to, for example, if they wanted to court martial him," said Corn.  "They would lose jurisdiction over him. So, they've got to keep him retained in the military until they make that decision.”

The Army investigation into how Bergdahl fell into Taliban hands in 2009 is being led by Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl of Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

Corn says Bergdahl will likely be assigned to a unit of other service members who are doing what's known as “marking time.” Many injured soldiers who are discharged from the hospital return to duty at Fort Sam Houston while they go through physical evaluation.

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