Houston: The US Army has begun questioning Sgt Bowe Bergdahl about his disappearance in Afghanistan that led to five years in captivity by the Taliban, his attorney and an Army spokeswoman said.
Bergdahl was questioned at Fort Sam Houston in Texas where he has been staying since returning to the US, said his attorney, Eugene R Fidell yesterday.
“Sgt Bergdahl answered all questions put to him. The interview is proceeding. It has been a productive expenditure of time,” Fidell said in a telephone interview during a break in the questioning. Fidell declined to comment on what specific questions Bergdahl was asked.
Lt Col Alayne Conway, an Army spokeswoman, said Bergdahl was advised of his rights under Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Article 31 pertains to individuals being informed of the nature of the accusation against them and says that they do not have to make any statement to investigators.
“This in an ongoing investigation; the investigating officer has 60 days from his appointment to conclude his investigation; however, he can request additional time if he feels it is necessary,” Conway said in an emailed statement. She did not respond to an inquiry about what type of questionsinvestigators asked.
Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, who is heading the probe into the 28-year-old’s disappearance, questioned Bergdahl yesterday, Fidell said.
A well-known lawyer and military justice expert who is currently a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School, Fidell described the setting of Bergdahl’s interview as “a comfortable environment,” a room with a sofa and a couple of chairs.
He said there were four people in the room, the interview was being recorded and that they were taking breaks throughout the day.
It was not immediately known how long the interview would last. But Fidell said he expected this would be the onlyinterview Bergdahl’s would be giving as part of the investigation.
“There is no reason to think there will be more than one,” he said.
The Idaho native was freed by the Taliban May 31 in a deal struck by the Obama administration in which five senior Taliban officials were released from detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.