US judge sentences Liberian war criminal to 30 years for immigration fraud

A US federal judge on Thursday sentenced [press release] a former Liberian commander known as “Jungle Jabbah” to 30 years in prison for defrauding the US immigration authorities and lying about his role during the Liberian civil war.

Mohammed Jabbateh, a 20-year resident of Pennsylvania, was found guilty in October on two counts of fraud in immigration documents and two counts of perjury.

Throughout the 1990s Jabbateh acted as a high ranking officer in the United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia (ULIMO) where he either personally committed, or ordered troops under his command to commit a number of atrocities.

The violent acts included the murder of civilian noncombatants, the sexual enslavement of women, the conscription of child soldiers, desecration of corpses and more.

In 1998 when Jabbateh sought asylum with the US immigration authorities, he lied about his role in Liberia’s civil war. When interviewed, Jabbateh stated that he had never committed a crime and had never harmed anyone.

In 2011 when Mohammed was under review for permanent citizenship, the former commander lied under oath by stating that he had never engaged in genocide or participated in killings and that he had never fraudulently misrepresented himself throughout the immigration process.

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