Moses Wright

Moses Wright, cousin of late Liberian President Samuel Doe, is an alleged former member of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). On June 23, 2022, an indictment dated July 29, 2021, was unsealed, charging Mr. Wright with fraudulently attempting to obtain U.S. citizenship (2 counts), fraud in immigration documents (3 counts), false statements in relation to naturalization (10 counts), and perjury (13 counts) following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia. His arrest in Philadelphia, United States, followed the indictment.

His alleged role during the first Liberian Civil war was General Commander of the AFL, making him one of the most important figures of the armed group and of the Liberian conflict overall. Prior to this high rank position, Moses Wright held many roles in the AFL such as Master Sergeant, Warrant Officer and Colonel. The indictment states that* Mr. Wright either personally committed, or ordered Armed Forces of Liberia troops under his command to commit numerous atrocities, including but not limited to, the persecution, murder, and assault of civilian non-combatant Gio and Mano tribesmen, as well as the false arrest and false imprisonment of civilian non-combatants.

The TRC also specifically named Moses Wright, along with Moses Thomas and others, as having massacred 27 families of Mano and Gio AFL members at the Barclay Training Centre (BTC) barracks in Monrovia, in June 1990.

If convicted, Moses Wright faces a maximum possible sentence of 165 years imprisonment and a $7,000,000 fine,

This is the 10th public case in relation to which Civitas Maxima and the GJRP provided assistance to the juridical authorities.

Former General Wright’s case is the fourth public criminal prosecution in Philadelphia in connection with the Liberian Civil Wars. It follows the 2017 conviction and 30-year prison sentence handed down to Mohammed Jabbateh, former ULIMO (United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy) commander, and the 2018 conviction of Thomas Woewiyu, former spokesman and Minister for Defence of the NPFL (National Patriotic Front of Liberia), who died of COVID in April 2020 before he could be sentenced.

In March 2022, Sekou Kamara, allegedly a former LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy) high ranking commander was arrested in New York. He is accused of allegedly lying to the US immigration authorities about his purported role in the armed group.

This case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia Field Office with assistance from HSI’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center in Washington D.C, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and the United States Embassy in Liberia.  

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Linwood C. Wright, Jr., and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Nelson S.T. Thayer, Jr.

*An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.