28 February 2017 at 09:21 BST

Trump 'traitor' comments could scupper trial

Lawyers for US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl have asked an Army appeals court to dismiss charges against their client, saying that President Donald Trump's public description of him as a 'traitor' has made a fair trial impossible.


Bergdahl faces a court martial on charges of desertion and endangerment of US troops. After walking off his post in 2009, he spent five years as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan.The court martial, which could result in a life sentence, is scheduled to begin in late April. However, legal advisers for the solider argue that repeated comments by Mr Trump in the run up to the election including calling their client a ‘no good traitor’ has denied their client of his due-process rights.'Our position is that President Trump's comments during the campaign repeatedly vilifying Sergeant Bergdahl prevents him from getting a fair trial,' Fidell said.

Prisioner swap

Mr Bergdahl was freed in a prisoner swap in May 2014 which involved the release of five Taliban leaders held by the United States. US military prosecutors charge that Bergdahl sneaked off his post, which led to a month and half search putting other soldiers’ lives at risk .Mr Fidell concluded that he was prepared to bring the case to the higher United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces If the Army appeals court did not dismiss the charges,.Source: Reuters


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