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Oscar winner gets to keep Bergdahl interviews Army sought

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/14/2016 By BRIAN MELLEY, Associated Press
FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, file photo, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl leaves the courthouse after his arraignment hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C. A lawyer for an Oscar-winning screenwriter says the U.S. Army dropped its efforts to seize unaired interviews he recorded with Bergdahl. Attorney Jean-Paul Jassy said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, that Mark Boal settled a lawsuit to prevent the government from obtaining 25 hours of recordings with the soldier who abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009. (Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, file photo, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl leaves the courthouse after his arraignment hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C. A lawyer for an Oscar-winning screenwriter says the U.S. Army dropped its efforts to seize unaired interviews he recorded with Bergdahl. Attorney Jean-Paul Jassy said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, that Mark Boal settled a lawsuit to prevent the government from obtaining 25 hours of recordings with the soldier who abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009. (Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The U.S. Army dropped its efforts to seize hours of unaired interviews an Oscar-winning screenwriter recorded with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, his lawyer said Tuesday.

FILE - In this March 7, 2010, file photo, Mark Boal poses backstage with the Oscar for best original screenplay for "The Hurt Locker" at the 82nd Academy Awards in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. A lawyer for an Oscar-winning screenwriter says the U.S. Army dropped its efforts to seize unaired interviews he recorded with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Attorney Jean-Paul Jassy said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, that Boal settled a lawsuit to prevent the government from obtaining 25 hours of recordings with the soldier who abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this March 7, 2010, file photo, Mark Boal poses backstage with the Oscar for best original screenplay for "The Hurt Locker" at the 82nd Academy Awards in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. A lawyer for an Oscar-winning screenwriter says the U.S. Army dropped its efforts to seize unaired interviews he recorded with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Attorney Jean-Paul Jassy said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, that Boal settled a lawsuit to prevent the government from obtaining 25 hours of recordings with the soldier who abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Mark Boal had sued the government to block a military prosecutor who said he planned to subpoena 25 hours of interviews for possible use at Bergdahl's court-martial for abandoning his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

FILE - In a July 7, 2016 file photo, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, arrives with his military lawyer, Lt. Col. Franklin Rosenblatt, for a legal hearing at the courtroom facility, on Fort Bragg, N.C. A lawyer for an Oscar-winning screenwriter says the U.S. Army dropped its efforts to seize unaired interviews he recorded with Bergdahl. Attorney Jean-Paul Jassy said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, that Mark Boal settled a lawsuit to prevent the government from obtaining 25 hours of recordings with the soldier who abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009. (Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In a July 7, 2016 file photo, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, arrives with his military lawyer, Lt. Col. Franklin Rosenblatt, for a legal hearing at the courtroom facility, on Fort Bragg, N.C. A lawyer for an Oscar-winning screenwriter says the U.S. Army dropped its efforts to seize unaired interviews he recorded with Bergdahl. Attorney Jean-Paul Jassy said Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, that Mark Boal settled a lawsuit to prevent the government from obtaining 25 hours of recordings with the soldier who abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009. (Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP, File)

Boal, who won two Academy Awards as producer and screenwriter for the Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker," asserted his right as a journalist to maintain confidentiality of sources and other information. Boal reported on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"I'm happy that the Army ultimately agreed to uphold the traditions of a free civilian press," Boal said in a statement.

The recordings formed the basis for the second season of the popular podcast "Serial" that focused on Bergdahl's decision to leave and his five years in captivity with the Taliban and its allies.

But the majority of unedited recordings never aired, and Boal said they included confidential discussions and material never meant to be public.

In return for the government dropping its efforts to get the records, Boal will verify material that aired on the podcast if called to testify at Bergdahl's court-martial in North Carolina, attorney Jean-Paul Jassy said. Boal will also drop his demand for attorney fees.

Government lawyers didn't immediately return messages seeking comment. A court filing Tuesday showed the case was dismissed.

Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, faces a military trial in April on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Conviction on the latter charge carries a possible term of life in prison.

Bergdahl is seeking a pardon from President Barack Obama.

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