Feds: Liberian accused of war crimes lied to come to US

(iStock)
(iStock)

Philadelphia - A federal prosecutor in Philadelphia says a man accused of war crimes in Liberia falsely told an immigration official he was being persecuted in his home country so he could enter the US.

Assistant US Attorney Nelson Thayer jnr told jurors on Tuesday that 51-year-old Mohammed Jabbateh lied about his history as a high-ranking member of Liberian rebel groups when he was seeking asylum and residency in the US nearly two decades ago.

He says jurors will hear from witnesses who claim to have seen Jabbateh order or commit war atrocities.

But Jabbateh's attorney says his client never deceived authorities. He says Jabbateh came to the US because he was jailed without food for weeks.

He was arrested last year outside Philadelphia. He's charged with immigration fraud and perjury.

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