- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on a pretrial hearing for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (all times local):

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12:40 p.m.

An Army judge says prosecutors must give attorneys for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl more information about why his enlistment contract was extended while he was a captive of the Taliban and its allies.

Army Lt. Col. Frank Rosenblatt, a defense attorney, said it’s not clear why the government has chosen to keep Bergdahl on active duty until 2022. He said Bergdahl was eligible for a discharge in 2011 and should have been allowed to re-enlist or leave the military upon his return from captivity.

The judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, ordered prosecutors to give the defense communications related to the extension decision.

Bergdahl, who’s from Hailey, Idaho, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and winding up in enemy captivity for five years. His trial is scheduled to begin in early 2017.

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3:45 a.m.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on the charges he faces after walking off a post in Afghanistan in 2009.

The hearing Thursday is likely to include a discussion of defense efforts to gain access to the correspondence of high-ranking military officials who were in positions of authority when Bergdahl’s disappearance unfolded.

Defense lawyers argue in recent motions that the correspondence could show whether improper influence was exerted. Prosecutors say the efforts are speculative and unwarranted.

Bergdahl, who’s from Hailey, Idaho, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after walking off his post and winding up in enemy captivity for five years. The Obama administration was criticized for swapping Guantanamo Bay detainees for Bergdahl.

His military trial is tentatively scheduled to start in early 2017.

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