Army Holds Legal Motions Hearing Sept. 27 in Sgt. Bergdahl Case


Media Release
U.S. Army Forces Command
Directorate of Public Affairs
4700 Knox Street
Fort Bragg, N.C. 28310

Sept. 27 2017 | 3:45 p.m.
For Immediate Release

Army Holds Legal Motions Hearing Sept. 27 in Sgt. Bergdahl Case

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Army Judge Col. Jeffery R. Nance conducted an Article 39(a) Motions Hearing Sept. 27 on Fort Bragg, N.C., in the case of United States vs. Sgt. Robert B. Bergdahl.
The hearing began at 9:03 a.m. and adjourned at 2:57 p.m. Wednesday.

Trial counsel present were:  Maj. Justin C. Oshana with assistant trial counsel Maj. Jerrod Fussnecker 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, Capt. Nina Banks and Capt. Jennifer Norvell.

Judge Nance approved the defense’s request for a trial by military judge alone.

Both defense counsel and government trial counsel discussed a number of pending legal motions.

Defense counsel requested the judge order the government obtain outtakes of a CNN interview with a previous witness.

Government counsel addressed the adequacy of two recently submitted Defense expert reports and requested new reports be completed.  Judge Nance ordered additions be made to those two reports.

Defense counsel sought to have one charge dismissed due to “condonation,” a possible grant of immunity from a previous commander on the desertion charge.  The defense called via telephone as a witness Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Perry L. Wiggins, for the former command of U.S. Army North and Fifth Army.  The judge will consider this motion.

Defense counsel sought to have the Government Trial Counsel called as a witness to testify about alleged communications with the White House.  Judge Nance denied that motion.

After a mid-day recess, the defense sought to have all charges dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction, alleging he was incorrectly retained on active duty.  Two witnesses testified by phone:  Dr. Michael Valdovinos, a psychologist with Landstuhl Army Medical Center at the time of Sgt. Bergdahl’s return; and Master Sgt. (Promotable) Normand J. Paquin, who was with U.S. Army North at the time when Sgt. Bergdahl was first assigned there.

Government counsel sought to compel an un-redacted copy of a prior mental evaluation and the release of his mental health records.  Judge Nance ruled against this at this time, but ordered that the health records be assembled in the event they became relevant in future proceedings.

The next legal-motions hearing date is currently scheduled for Oct. 17, 2017, on Fort Bragg, N.C.

The trial currently is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2017, on Fort Bragg, N.C.

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