Political News

After 3 previous tries, Bergdahl trial date now set for October

Posted May 5

— A military judge on Friday set an Oct. 23 trial date for the desertion case against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Col. Jeffrey Nance said he is "gun shy about setting trial dates" because he has already scratched three previous dates amid delays over the exchange of classified information between prosecutors and defense lawyers.

Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009. He held by the Taliban and its allies about five years before being freed on May 31, 2014, in exchange for five Taliban prisoners.

Defense lawyers said Friday they still have to review more than 24,000 documents in the case and need another four to five months to complete the task.

Bergdahl's defense also asked for some documents regarding a June 9-10, 2009, military operation. Prosecutors said the mission was meant primarily to search for Bergdahl, resulting in a Navy SEAL being injured, but the defense is trying to undercut that, arguing the mission also was to capture a notorious Taliban member.

Nance said he would rule later on whether the government should turn those documents over to Bergdahl's lawyers.

In a separate matter, the judge issued a protective order on a video that shows Bergdahl while in captivity. Only the jury will be privy to the video.

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