In March 2021, CJA filed a motion for summary judgment, supported by detailed testimony from survivors of the Massacre, journalists and other eyewitnesses to the event and its aftermath, military insiders, and experts, including a former U.S. Ambassador to Liberia. The motion argues that the record developed in this case makes clear Moses Thomas’ responsibility for the massacre, and requests that the court find Thomas liable for torture, extrajudicial killings, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
The evidence CJA filed with the court paints a detailed picture of how Col. Moses Thomas planned, directed, and executed the Lutheran Church Massacre. In the weeks leading up to the massacre, Thomas and his SATU troops conducted reconnaissance at the Lutheran Church, visiting the compound and harassing civilians sheltering inside. On the night of July 29, 1990, Thomas led a convoy of SATU soldiers to the Church, where they surrounded and eventually stormed the compound. His soldiers then systematically began shooting and butchering the civilians sheltering there. Thomas stood at the entrance to the compound, where he oversaw the entire operation. After several hours of killing, Thomas walked through the compound, declared “everyone is dead, nobody is alive” and left with his troops. Approximately 600 civilians died that night. The next day, SATU forces chased down and rounded up survivors from the church and executed those they could find. SATU soldiers were seen celebrating the massacre.
The catalog of evidence presented recounts the weeks and months leading up to the Massacre, the horrific events of that night, and the aftermath of the killings. Plaintiffs in this case and Liberia-based witnesses remain anonymous, out of a fear of retaliation for their pursuit of justice. A selection of CJA’s evidentiary filings, including redacted versions of Plaintiffs and witnesses’ sworn statements, are available below.
Declaration of William W
Declaration of William X
Declaration of William Y
Declaration of William Z
Declaration of Andrew Voros
Declaration of Elizabeth Blunt
Declaration of Patrick Robert
Declaration of Mark Huband
Documents to come, please check back soon.