Ex-Liberian official arrested in US on immigration charges; accused of lying about past

A former Liberian defense minister accused of lying about his past to become a U.S. citizen has been arrested on immigration charges.

The former official, Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, is expected to appear in federal court in Philadelphia on Tuesday. He was arrested Monday at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey.

An indictment charges that he served under Liberian President Charles Taylor in the early 1990s. The indictment links Woewiyu to their party's campaign to execute political opponents, force girls into sex slavery and conscript boys to become child soldiers.

Woewiyu has been a legal permanent resident of the U.S. since 1972, with a current address in Collingdale, near Philadelphia.

He is charged with lying about his past on his citizenship application. Court records don't list a defense lawyer.