June 21, 2017 | 3:45 p.m.
For Immediate Release
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Army Judge Col. Jeffery R. Nance conducted an Article 39(a) Motions Hearing June 21 on Fort Bragg, N.C., in the case of United States vs. Sgt. Robert B. Bergdahl.
The hearing began at 8:59 a.m. and recessed at 11:17 a.m. until 2 p.m. today, when the court reconvened and then transitioned to a classified hearing, which ended at 3 p.m. Court adjourned at 3:07 p.m. for the day and currently is scheduled to reconvene June 22. (See below media notes for media interested in attending.)
Trial counsel present were: Maj. Justin C. Oshana with assistant trial counsel Maj. Jerrod Fussnecker, Capt. Ann Rutherford and Capt. Nicole Ulrich. Defense counsel present were: Mr. Eugene Fidell and Lt. Col. Franklin D. Rosenblatt with assistant defense counsel Maj. Jason Thomas, Maj. Oren Gleich, Maj. Louis Scapicchio, Capt. Nina Banks, Capt. Jennifer Norvell, and 1st Lt. Lorena Marez.
Counsel for both sides today discussed a series of motions – including a motion about the potential admissibility of testimony by individuals involved in the search for Sgt. Bergdahl should the court-martial reach a sentencing phase. Others included a motion to produce materials pursuant to a defense discovery request; the defense’s request for a judicial ruling on charge 1, Article 85: “Desertion,” and to dismiss charge 2, Article 99: “Misbehavior before the Enemy;” and a motion on whether an earlier statement by the accused could be admitted potentially as evidence. The judge requested the government provide additional information on the motion to admit the accused’s statement before making a ruling. The judge also plans to issue an updated written questionnaire for potential panel members.
Navy Senior Petty Officer (Retired) James Hatch, a former Navy SEAL, testified about his unit’s July 8-9, 2009, search for Sgt. Bergdahl.
The hearing also updated the government’s ongoing initiatives to provide unclassified and classified government documents requested by Sgt. Bergdahl’s defense lawyers.
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MEDIA NOTES: The U.S. Army will conduct a military legal hearing June 22, 2017, Thursday, on Fort Bragg, N.C., in the case of United States vs. Sgt. Robert B. Bergdahl. The legal-motions hearing currently is scheduled to take place in the Fort Bragg Courtroom on post Thursday morning. Media will be escorted from the post’s Fort Bragg Fairgrounds on Bragg Boulevard, Highway 87 North – the entrance gate on the opposite side of Bragg Boulevard across from the Stryker Golf Course, near Howell Street. Previously registered news media may begin to arrive starting at 6:15 a.m. EDT and not later than 7 a.m. EDT June 22 for security in-processing. Media satellite trucks will be escorted after a security orientation at the Fort Bragg Fairgrounds parking area. News media or the public with questions regarding attending, may contact Forces Command Public Affairs at (910) 570-7216 or E-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.