Category: Archive

‘Chef’ in clear

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Zaitschek, known widely by the sobriquet “Larry the Chef,” has been for years facing possible charges and extradition proceedings linked to the break-in at the Castlereagh police station and interrogation center outside Belfast on St. Patrick’s Day, 2002.
In the intervening years, Bronx-born Zaitschek – who was employed as a chef at Castlereagh at the time of the break-in but who has denied any role in the affair – has lived in constant fear of extradition proceedings. But he has been worried even more by the lack of contact with his son Pearse, who will be eleven in November.
“It’s been a long time, way too long,” Zaitschek told the Echo.
Father and son last saw each other on March 21, 2002.
But a meeting in the near future might now be on the cards after the North’s Public Prosecution Service last week confirmed that the “Test for Prosecution” was no longer being met “in respect of Laurence Jon Zaitschek for his alleged role in the break-in at Castlereagh Police Station and in respect of two offences of collecting information.”
The PPS said it had previously confirmed that there had been sufficient evidence to prosecute Zaitschek “should he be made amenable in Northern Ireland.” All such decisions were kept under continuous review, the statement added.
But it continued: “After the original decision for prosecution had been taken, new information came to the attention of the PPS through the Chief Constable.
“The PPS concluded that a duty of disclosure to the defense arose in respect of this information. It took all possible steps in conjunction with police to make it available. However, the Chief Constable has now confirmed that he is not in a position to make this information available for the purposes of disclosure.
“In those circumstances the PPS has concluded that the Test for Prosecution is no longer met as the disclosure obligations placed upon the prosecution cannot be discharged and fair trial could not thereby be achieved.”
Cryptic though the signals from the PPS office clearly are, Zaitschek is taking the view that he is now legally in the clear.
As such, he said he wanted now to focus entirely on his son.
Pearse is living with his mother, Zaitschek’s estranged wife, Lisa Orderly, somewhere in Britain under the protection of Britain’s “Witness Protection Scheme,” the equivalent there of the U.S. Witness Protection Program.
Zaitschek has repeatedly expressed astonishment at the fact that his former wife and son are in effective hiding.
He has accused the Police Service of Northern Ireland of stoking Orderly’s fears in order to “gain political advantage.” “This is clear misuse of a child and the PSNI are at the center of it,” Zaitschek previously told the Echo.
“They have kept me away from my son and that is time I can never make up,” Zaitschek said this week after the decision from the PPS was made public.
He said that he and Pearse now enjoyed a relationship that was “as good as it could be” given that it was entirely conducted on the phone.
“He’s awesome,” said the father of his son. “We spoke Sunday though it was a bad line. The call was probably being monitored,” said Zaitschek.
He said that he only knew that his son was “somewhere in England.”
“I don’t know what’s stopping a meeting now. I’ll meet Pearse in Ireland, England anywhere,” Zaitschek said.

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