RALEIGH, N.C. — A military judge has denied defense efforts to disqualify the four-star general overseeing Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's case.

Defense attorneys argued Gen. Robert Abrams should be removed from the case for reasons including involvement in search efforts for Bergdahl and that he destroyed letters from the public. The head of U.S. Army Forces Command referred the case to a general court-martial last year.

But the judge, Army. Col. Jeffery Nance, ruled Friday that the defense failed to show the letters contained admissible evidence.

The defense also argued Abrams had prior involvement in search efforts after Bergdahl's 2009 disappearance from a post in Afghanistan. But Nance wrote Abrams wasn't personally involved in decisions on the search.

Bergdahl's trial is scheduled for 2017 on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

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