Liberian rebel commander living in Delaware County sentenced to 30 years in prison

PHILADELPHIA -- A Liberian man convicted of lying about his past as a rebel commander so he could enter the U.S. has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

In October, 51-year-old Mohammed Jabbateh was found guilty in Philadelphia of immigration fraud and perjury for deceiving officials about his role during the Liberian civil war in the 1990s.

His trial involved testimony from witnesses who said he or his soldiers killed civilians, raped women and engaged in cannibalism. He was known during the war as Jungle Jabbah.

In sentencing Jabbateh Thursday, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond said those accusations factored into his decision to veer from the federal sentencing guidelines for perjury and fraud.

Diamond says the recommended 15 to 21 months would be "outrageously offensive."

Jabbateh has maintained his innocence.

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