PHILADELPHIA – Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have begun to call witnesses in the trial of a Liberian immigrant who is accused of lying about his past as a war criminal to enter the U.S.
Jurors on Tuesday heard from a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by 51-year-old Mohammed Jabbateh when he was a high-ranking member of a Liberian rebel group in the 1990s. Prosecutors say he lied about his role as a rebel commander when applying for asylum and residency nearly two decades ago.
But Jabbateh's attorney says his client never deceived authorities and never committed war crimes in his homeland. He says Jabbateh came to the U.S. because he was jailed without food for weeks.
Jabbateh was arrested last year outside Philadelphia. He's charged with immigration fraud and perjury.