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US Court convicts former NPFL’s Spokesperson Tom Woewiyu

Joseph Koon/Maximilian Kasseh
Thomas Woewiyu
Thomas Woewiyu

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-A US Court has convicted former Spokesperson of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), Tom Woewiyu, on Federal Immigration Fraud charges in Philadelphia, USA.

Prior to his conviction, Mr. Woewiyu was accused of hiding his past as a brass to warlord, Charles Ghankay Taylor, during the Liberian Civil Conflict.

He was accused of eleven charges, including lying and attempting to falsely obtain US citizenship, but was however acquitted of five.

Mr. Woewiyu, 73, was also former Defense Minister for Taylor’s NPFL,and one of the highest ranking officials to be found guilty of crimes associated with the numerous documented atrocities committed during the Liberian carnage.

According to the Liberian News Agency (LINA) his conviction was announced recently by US District Judge, Anita Brody, and ordered him kept under house arrest until his sentence in October this year.

According to the report, the testimonies provided against Mr. Woewiyu during the trial came from about a dozen Liberians flown in from Africa to recount their experiences during the war.

Since his 2014 arrest at Newark International Airport, Mr. Woewiyu has maintained that he was unaware of the worst excesses of Taylor’s regime and that he always had been opened with US Authorities about his ties to the NPFL.
Mr. Woewiyu is the second historic convict of its kind in Philadelphia and one that renewed calls for further accountability in the West African nation where war criminals have gone largely unpunished for decades.

It can be recalled during the civil war that Woewiyu and his buddy Taylor felt out over policy differences, with the then Defense Minister joining ranks with lawyer Laveli Supuwood and Samuel Dokie,all top NPFL figures, to form a breakaway faction.
 

 


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