The Latest: Prosecutors call Bergdahl motion unprecedented


FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on pretrial hearings in the case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (all times local):

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11:30 a.m.

Prosecutors say defense attorneys for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have invented a legal issue by arguing the case was tainted by comments from U.S. Sen. John McCain.

The defense wants the charges against Bergdahl to be thrown out because of “impermissible meddling” by McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. McCain has said the panel would hold a hearing if Bergdahl weren’t punished.

But Maj. Justin Oshana, an Army prosecutor, argued Tuesday that no other court has ever made a ruling similar to what the defense is seeking.

The judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, quipped that he wasn’t sure he wanted to be the first either. But he said he would consider the motion and rule at a later date.

Bergdahl faces military charges after walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009. He became a captive of the Taliban and its allies until 2014.

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4 a.m.

Attorneys for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are scheduled to argue Tuesday that decision-makers with power over the soldier’s prosecution were improperly swayed by negative comments from U.S. Sen. John McCain.

The defense argues that the chain of events surrounding Bergdahl’s prosecution shows “impermissible meddling” by McCain and says either the charges should be thrown out or Bergdahl should face no punishment if convicted. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said the panel would hold a hearing if Bergdahl weren’t punished.

Legal experts say it’ll be hard to convince a judge to throw the charges out.

Bergdahl faces military charges after walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and wound up as a captive of the Taliban and its allies until 2014.

Bergdahl is from Hailey, Idaho.

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