PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Survivors of a church massacre in Liberia are seeking justice in our area as a new lawsuit accuses a Delaware County man of war crimes.
Neighbors say Moses Thomas, the man known to help out at a Liberian restaurant at 66th and Elmwood, is a “good guy.”
“He looks like a quiet man, nice man, he really don’t talk a lot,” said Loy Concepcion, who works nearby.
Thomas –at 64 — came to the U.S. almost 20 years ago.
CBS3 couldn’t find him Wednesday morning at the Southwest Philly restaurant we’ve learned is owned by his girlfriend.
According to a federal lawsuit filed this week, Thomas has a terribly disturbing past.
It’s claimed he was a colonel with Liberia Special Forces — a tactical patrol that massacred 600 men, women and children in 1990.
The bloody attack unfolded behind the walls of a Lutheran church in Monrovia.
“Twenty-eight years have passed since the Lutheran church massacre and no one has been held accountable,” said Nushin Sarkarati, attorney for Center for Justice and Accountability.
Sarkarati spoke to CBS3 from San Francisco about their lawsuit aiming to tie Thomas to war crimes.
And while the suit points out, Thomas may not have murdered, they claim he gave the order.
“Through this lawsuit, we’re hoping to establish the record of the attack and identify who indeed perpetrated the attack,” said Sarkarati.
On Wednesday afternoon, CBS3 tracked down Thomas’ address in Sharon Hill.
A man who said he wasn’t Thomas refused to open the door, but promised to pass along our message.
Hours later, Thomas eventually left this voicemail message:
“I just want to let you know, I’m sorry, I just can’t talk to you until I talk to my lawyer, as soon as I do talk to my lawyer, I will call you.”
In a follow-up phone call, the alleged ex-colonel refused to answer our questions but denied having any involvement in the massacre.
“Thomas has been denying the allegations against him and this is why a lawsuit like this is very important,” said Sarkarati.
Thomas is now the third man living in Delaware County accused of having a role in the Liberian bloodshed.
In October, Muhammed Jabateh was convicted of lying on immigration papers after it’s claimed he raped, murdered and cannibalized in Liberia.