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Lawyer: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl wants to attend college

Aug. 20, 2014 - 05:40PM   |  
This photo provided by Eugene R. Fidell shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl this month preparing to be interviewed by Army investigators.
This photo provided by Eugene R. Fidell shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl this month preparing to be interviewed by Army investigators. (Eugene R. Fidell/The Associated Press)
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HOUSTON — An Army sergeant held as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan for five years wants to attend college once the investigation into how he was captured by the Taliban is finished, his attorney said Wednesday.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is in "a holding pattern" doing administrative duties at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, according to attorney Eugene Fidell, a military justice expert who is also a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School.

But any discussion of where Bergdahl, 28, wants to attend school or what he wants to study is "way ahead of the target," Fidell said.

Bergdahl was freed May 31 in exchange for five detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center. The move generated criticism amid allegations Bergdahl was a deserter.

The Army initially said it would put out a report on the probe of Bergdahl's disappearance on Friday, 60 days after the investigator, Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, was assigned the case. But the Army has extended the time for completion of the report.

"It is possible that he will have to follow up on issues that may require additional witness interviews," the Army said in a statement Tuesday. "Army senior leaders have been advised of the status of the investigation, and Maj. Gen. Dahl expects to submit his report for review in September."

Fidell said he has no problem with the Army being thorough.

"As they usual do, these dates more or less are arbitrarily selected," he said. "Turns out they need more time, so they're helping themselves to more time ... The more thoughtfully this is looked at, the better."

Fidell said Bergdahl had been "integrated" at the Army post but declined to elaborate on his client's health, saying only that the soldier was "doing OK."

"I'm not going to go into that for privacy," he said. "I'm probably erring on the side of caution, but if it was my medical file or yours, we wouldn't want it discussed."

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