DPP defers Standard staffer's prosecution

Standard Group staffer Laban Cliff Onserio. [Courtesy]

Prosecution against Standard Group staffer Laban Cliff Onserio has been deferred following an agreement between him and Office of Director of Public Prosecution.

Onserio, a Chief of Staff of Standard Group CEO's Office at the time of arrest has agreed to a strict six-month regimen including provision of more information on his matter, weekly reporting to anti-terror police, and undertaking of community service at the ATPU headquarters.

The ODPP established that there was enough evidence to charge Onserio with four counts relating to lesser charge of possessing a training flash-bang grenade. Initially they proposed to charge him with terrorism offenses but have since dropped that for charges against Explosives Act and the Penal Code.

In the agreement, known in legal parlance as deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), Onserio conceded to some of the facts to the ODPP, formally apologized for his conduct and committed to change his ways.

In turn, the ODPP after considering the nature and circumstances of the offences agreed to defer his prosecution provided he cooperates fully with the office, ATPU and other investigative offices.

He is required to provide any additional information regarding any associates, accomplices, agents or individuals connected to the investigation. He was also barred from issuing public statements on the matter unless sanctioned by the ODPP

If Onserio successfully keeps his side of the bargain, the ODPP said the explosives will be confiscated in accordance with the law, and he will be handed back the personal possessions confiscated in the course of investigations.

Yesterday, the ODPP maintained that he may institute fresh charges if he believes that in course of the six months that Onserio has provided inaccurate, misleading or incomplete information. The agreement will also be invalidated by any breach.

Onserio was arrested on December 18 at the Holy Family Basilica basement following an altercation during which the grenade was recovered. Police also confiscated his mobile phones. He was later produced before anti-terror court in Kahawa but police sought more time to investigate him.