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Press Release

Liberian National Arrested For Perjury And Obstruction Of Justice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Isaac Kannah, 51, of Philadelphia, PA, who was charged in an October 2012 indictment with perjury and obstruction of justice, was arrested on January 10, 2017, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents in Philadelphia.  The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey and Trial Attorney Brenda Sue Thornton, who are handling the case, stated that the perjury and obstruction of justice charges involved alleged false testimony given by the defendant during a removal hearing of former Liberian warlord, George Boley, in May, 2011. According to the indictment, the removal proceedings centered on whether Boley had committed human rights violations during the Liberian Civil War in the 1990’s as the leader of the Liberian Peace Council (LPC), a warring and fighting faction.  Boley was charged with knowingly using and recruiting child soldiers to fight in the LPC and participating in the commission of extrajudicial killings.  In February 2012, Boley became the first individual to be removed from the United States for the use or recruitment of child soldiers.

During removal proceedings, Kannah appeared as a witness for Boley, providing testimony under oath to support Boley’s claims that neither he nor the LPC were involved in human rights abuses. The indictment alleges that Kannah gave false testimony on 11 different issues at the hearing, including whether the LPC used children in its armed forces, whether LPC fighters were equipped with guns, whether Boley was in the field with child soldiers, whether the LPC was a warring or fighting faction, and whether in 1994, Kannah himself coordinated the LPC’s attack on Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia.

Kannah was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman and released on $25,000 bond. 

The indictment and arrest are the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

Updated February 6, 2017