- - Thursday, June 14, 2012

BERLIN — The former commander of the Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade was fined $300,000 and issued a formal reprimand Thursday, after a court-martial convicted him of multiple counts of fraud, conduct unbecoming of an officer, bigamy and other charges related to a long-term extramarital affair he had with a woman he met in Iraq.

As part of the sentence, Col. James Johnson III will have to serve five years in prison if the fine is unpaid, Army spokeswoman Hilde Patton said.

Johnson had pleaded guilty to 13 counts against him and was convicted of two other counts by the panel of officers hearing the case. Twelve other counts were dismissed as the proceedings opened Sunday.

The West Point graduate was relieved of his command of the Vicenza, Italy-based 173rd in March 2011 amid the investigation.

He was accused of having an affair with an Iraqi woman he met in Iraq in 2005, who was the daughter of his cultural adviser. He pleaded guilty to marrying her before divorcing his wife.


‘Vampire’ skeleton going on display

SOFIA — Ever since archaeologists announced last week that they have found two ancient skeletons in Bulgaria with iron rods thrust through their chests, the media have been reporting how Bulgarians once did that to prevent the dead from emerging from the grave as vampires.

On Saturday, one of those 700-year-old skeletons will be put on display at the National History Museum in Sofia. Its director, Bozhidar Dimitrov, says he expects a big turnout.

Mr. Dimitrov said Thursday that some people who were believed to have led evil lives were treated that way when they were buried in parts of Bulgaria as recently as the beginning of the 20th century.

The media have reported that because vampire tales remain popular in Balkan countries such as Bulgaria some people in the Black Sea resort of Sozopol, where the skeletons were found in a graveyard, are having trouble sleeping at night.


Terrorist’s son who spied for Isreal on lecture tour

JERUSALEM — The son of a Hamas founder who renounced his father’s terrorist group to spy for Israel has returned to the Jewish state on a college lecture tour, an Israeli official said Thursday.

Mosab Yousef was invited by Druse Arab lawmaker Ayoob Kara, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.

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