Jungle Jabbah Sentenced to 30 Years' Imprisonment
Mohammed “Jungle Jabbah” Jabbateh was sentenced today to 30 years’ imprisonment—the statutory maximum—for providing false information to U.S. immigration authorities on his applications for asylum and a U.S. Green Card by falsely denying his role as a high-ranking rebel commander during the first Liberian Civil War and crimes he committed in that position. Jabbateh was found guilty of four counts of perjury and fraud by a federal jury in October 2017 following a ten day trial in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). This sentence represents one of the longest sentences ever imposed by a U.S. court for a defendant accused of war crimes but charged under U.S. immigration statutes.
In a hearing lasting approximately one hour, the judge explained the legal basis for his sentencing calculation, outlined many of the atrocities recounted by victims and witnesses in their trial testimony, and ultimately concluded that this case “falls far outside the heartland for both perjury and fraud.” When offered the opportunity to address the Court directly, Jabbateh replied simply, “I have nothing to say.”
The Court explained that the 30-year sentence, reached by imposing the maximum penalty for each of the four counts and ordering them to run consecutively, was appropriate to meet the goals of sentencing and to serve as a deterrent. The Court also imposed 3 years of supervised release to follow his term of imprisonment and ordered Jabbateh to pay a $400 special assessment.
There is no parole in the U.S. federal system, meaning Jabbateh will be required to serve the full sentence in a U.S. prison. After his sentence is completed, he will almost certainly be deported. The defense has 14 days to file a notice of appeal if they so wish.