First grade magistrate Cuthbert Phiri has thrown out an application by the defence to transfer a Standard Bank robbery case to Rumphi where he was redeployed.
Auto-teller machine custodian Charles Moffat, security guard Amos Jere and indicted police officer Ken Kamwambi are answering a charge of robbery following a K500 million heist at Standard Bank Mzuzu Branch four years ago.
On Thursday, Kamwambi’s lawyer, George Kadzipatike, requested Phiri to transfer the case to Rumphi, saying it has dragged due to adjournments.
Making the application in Mzuzu, Kadzipatike argued that shifting the case to Rumphi would speed up the trial since his client has been in prison since the case started in 2014.
He said the defence team was ready to travel to meet its cost.
However, State prosecutor Jacob Nambiri counter-argued that government does not have resources to have the matter tried in Rumphi.
The State cannot foot allowances for police officers, fuel costs and other resources to have the matter in Rumphi as it is grappling with financial challenges.
The magistrate said the case would move faster if all parties handled it seriously to minimise adjournments.
He noted that it would be unfair for Mzuzu residents to hear the case outside the city.
“Transferring it to Rumphi will deprive them of important proceedings. They will not appreciate how justice has taken its course,” he said. n