Bowe Bergdahl finishes with Army investigator

Bowe Bergdahl finishes with Army investigator

Bowe Bergdahl finishes with Army investigator

Print
Email
|

by Dana Ford and Steve Almasy

CNN

Posted on August 7, 2014 at 4:10 PM

(CNN) -- Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a former Taliban prisoner, on Thursday wrapped up a two-day interview with an Army investigating officer to discuss his disappearance in Afghanistan five years ago.

After disappearing from his post in June 2009, the soldier, now 28, spent five years in the hands of Taliban militants.

Bergdahl's civilian attorney was present for the interviews. The investigation is ongoing, Army spokesman Wayne Hall said.

Bergdahl attorney Eugene Fidell described Wednesday's portion of questioning as both long and productive.

"He answered every question that was put to him," Fidell said Wednesday about his client.

"I think it was helpful, personally, to Sgt. Bergdahl to be able to tell his story, you know, to a person in a position of responsibility without a lot of sort of intermediation by third parties."

After he was released in May in exchange for five senior Taliban members held by the U.S. military, Bergdahl underwent counseling and medical care at a hospital in San Antonio, where he is now back on regular duty at Fort Sam Houston.

The news of Bergdahl's freedom initially was met with jubilation, but the mood quickly turned as many called for an investigation into his disappearance and captivity. Some critics accused the soldier of deserting his comrades in war.

An Army fact-finding investigation conducted in the months after his disappearance concluded he left his outpost deliberately and of his own free will, according to an official who was briefed on the report.

The Army has no definitive finding that Bergdahl deserted because that would require knowing his intent, something officials couldn't learn without talking to the soldier, a U.S. military official recently told CNN.

Bergdahl works at the headquarters of U.S. Army North in Texas. He is with a unit responsible for homeland defense, civil support operations and security cooperation programs involving countries such as Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas.

He will eventually be given a position commensurate with his current rank of sergeant, the Army said last month.

Bergdahl was a private first class when he was captured, and the Army extended his enlistment and twice promoted him on schedule while he was in captivity.

Unless he requests an extension, the investigating officer has until mid-August to complete the probe; a report would be issued about a month later.

CNN's Nick Valencia and Stephanie Gallman contributed to this report.

Print
Email
|