In September 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted the motion for summary judgment filed by CJA and pro bono counsel Debevoise & Plimpton and Blank Rome LLP, holding Moses Thomas responsible for his role in the Lutheran Church Massacre. The court found him liable for war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture, extrajudicial killings, and attempted extrajudicial killings. The court considered detailed testimony from survivors of the Massacre, journalists and other eyewitnesses to the event and its aftermath, military insiders, and experts, including a former charge d’affaire at the U.S.Embassy in Liberia.

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 recounted 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, and check out a multimedia exploration of the evidence in the case by MP Nunan.

Plaintiff Declarations

Declaration of Jane W
Declaration of John X
Declaration of John Y

Declaration of John Z

Witness Declarations

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

Expert Reports
Expert Report of Dennis Jett
Expert Report of Dennis Jett Exhibits A-BB
Expert Report of Dennis Jett Exhibits CC-ZZZ

Report of Country Conditions Expert