Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl receives zero jail time, dishonorable discharge

Judge rules no jail time for Bergdahl

Sergeant Bergdahl was held captive by the Taliban for five years.

Bergdahl previously pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and faced a potential life sentence in prison.

They asked the judge to give their client a dishonourable discharge and no prison time, and also cited harsh campaign trail criticism by Mr Trump and Bergdahl's mental disorders. Donald Trump called him "a no-good traitor who should have been executed".

Bergdahl's civilian attorney - at a news conference after the sentence was announced, said, "Sgt. Bergdahl has looked forward to today for a long time".

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Bowe Bergdahl, center, leaves the Fort Bragg courtroom facility following sentencing at Fort Bragg, N.C., Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 14 years of in prison.

A punitive discharge deprives Bergdahl of most or all of his veterans' benefits. He also described brutal beatings by his captors, illness brought on by squalid conditions and maddening periods of isolation.

Bergdahl "does not have a monopoly on suffering as a result of his choices", Maj.

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"We're exhausted of Sgt. Bergdahl, who's a traitor, a no-good traitor, who should have been executed", Trump said at an October 2015 rally, for example.

Bergdahl's defense team argued that the soldier suffered from several mental health conditions - with experts testifying that a schizophrenia-like condition likely led him to leave his post - and should not be sent to prison.

During last year's presidential campaign Donald Trump said he believed Bergdahl should be put to death for abandoning his post in the war zone.

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