Mzuzu magistrate Catherine Pire has asked for Malawi police service protection at her house saying she has received death threats.
Phiri surprised the police on Tuesday during the hearing of the K500 million (about $737 494) Mzuzu Standard Bank robbery.
“I am wondering why we have so many police officers in the court for this case yet I have no police protection. On Sunday three people shouted that if I continue presiding over this case, I would be dealt with,” said Phiri.
She said it was surprising the police were eager to protect suspects than the magistrate.
There were 21 armed police officer in and outside the court.
Mzuzu police spokesman Morris Chapola said there were many police officers because this was a high profile case.
Key suspect Ken Kamwambi is still in police custody because he is yet to appear in other serious armed robberies in Blantyre and Lilongwe.
However his co accused Charles Moffat, Standard Bank ATM custodian and Amos Jere, a guard at the bank are on bail.
Chapola could not immediately say whether the police would provide the magistrate with police security following her demand.
Meanwhile, Closed circuit television (CCTV) played in court revealed that the automated teller machine (ATM) custodian at the branch, Charles Moffat, had access to both keys and combinations to the machines before the robbery took place.
Standard Bank investigator Gaver Ziba, said in normal practice, the ATM is supposed to be managed by two people—one holding the keys and another the combinations.
The footage shows Moffat leading two robbers into the bank, and then him and one robber coming out to get a watchman, Amos Jere, in.
Another clip shows Moffat and one robber getting into the ATM rooms, with Moffat leading the way.
He opened the rooms with keys and not the combination, and picked two lower containers from each ATM.
The money looks bundled with elastic bands as it does not splash as Moffat is seen helping the robber pack it into a carton.
Ziba said ATMs are not packed with bundled money to allow the machine to pick the notes when a customer is withdrawing.
The case has since been adjourned to an unspecified date to let Ziba travel abroad.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :