Freed US soldier 'may face desertion charges'

A billboard calling for the release of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Credit: Reuters

The US Army may still pursue an investigation that could lead to desertion or other charges against Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed from five years of Taliban captivity in a prisoner exchange last weekend, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Speaking publicly for the first time about the case, Gen Dempsey said he does not want to prejudge the outcome of any investigation or say anything that might influence a commander's decision.

But he said US military leaders "have been accused of looking away from misconduct, and it's premature" to assume they would do so in Sgt Bergdahl's case, despite the soldier's five years as a Taliban prisoner.

More: Hilary Clinton defends US prisoner swap

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Released Taliban captive Bergdahl arrives in the US

US army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, freed by the Taliban after five years in captivity, has arrived at a Texas military base, where he will begin the next phase of his "reintegration process".