Standard Media Group Journalist Laban-Cliff Onserio has gotten a reprieve after the state dropped its plan to prefer charges against him of being in possession of a grenade and threatening to use it to attack.
When the matter came for mention before Kahawa Court magistrate Boaz Ombewa on Monday, February 20, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) sought to terminate the terrorism-related charges saying there was no evidence to sustain the trial.
Consequently, the magistrate allowed the DPP’s request to withdraw the case against Onserio and marked the file as closed.
The new development comes after DPP on December 3, 2022, filed terrorist-related charges against Onserio but did not answer to the same awaiting prosecution's decision on his application for review.
Onserio through his lawyer had written to the DPP seeking a review of the charges on grounds that there is no evidence linking him to the explosives allegedly recovered from his car at Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi.
The journalist, who is also the Standard Media Group’s Chief of Staff, was arrested by detectives from the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) on December 20, 2022, over allegations of being in possession of a grenade.
Police said he was arrested at Nairobi's Holy Family Basilica basement (2) by detectives after the grenade was found in his car by officers who had been called in by the church’s guards to respond to an altercation that involved him.
The cathedral runs a commercial parking facility that is manned by a private security company on a 24-hour basis.
During his arrest, Onserio failed to give satisfactory reasons why he had the flash-bang grenade and did not produce a certificate allowing him to own the said explosive device.
This prompted an in-depth investigation into the matter that led the journalist to be detained in custody during the entire Christmas holiday.
He was out on a cash bail of Ksh100, 000 pending plea taking. The court has however ordered a refund of the same.