Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant whose 2014 release by the Taliban prompted a firestorm of controversy over the nature of his five-year captivity, was ordered by a high-ranking Army commander on Monday to face a court martial on charges of desertion and endangering his fellow soldiers.
If convicted of leaving his post in Afghanistan without permission, the New York Times reports, Bergdahl could face a life sentence. The date of the hearing will be announced at a later time.
An Army lawyer had previously recommended Bergdahl face lesser charges for his alleged offenses. The decision on Monday also comes just days after the popular podcast Serial launched its second season, which will investigate Bergdahl’s divisive story.
In 2014, five Taliban leaders were released in exchange for the Taliban’s release of Bergdahl.