US army Afghanistan deserter avoids jail sentence

US army Afghanistan deserter avoids jail sentence
Former US soldier Bowe Bergdahl who deserted his post in Afghanistan has escaped a jail sentence, sparking anger from US President Donald Trump.
1 min read
04 November, 2017
Bergdahl has escaped a jail sentence [Getty]

An army sergeant who deserted his post in Afghanistan has avoided a prison sentence, following a high profile case that has gripped the US.

Bowe Bergdahl will pay a $10,000 fine and been discharged from the army, following a ruling by a judge about his disappearance and subsequent capture by militants in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl admitted to deserting his combat outpost before he was held hostage by the Taliban during a harsh and terrifying five year ordeal.

He was later released by the Taliban after a prisoner swap with the US for five Afghan militants.

His case has divided the US with President Donald Trump calling for his execution last year and on Friday slamming the judge's decision.

"The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military," he wrote on Twitter.

Bergdahl faced life in prison for endangering his comrades with one soldier left permanently disabled after being shot during a search mission for the missing soldier. 

The judge took minutes to decide that Bergdahl should not be jailed.

Supporters say that Bergdahl has already suffered torture and deprivation during his five years of Afghan captivity.