As it happened: Panayiotou case postponed, accused to stay in jail until May 20

2015-05-14 13:30

The case against Christopher Panayiotou has been postponed to Wednesday, 20 May at 09:00 and he will remain in the holding cells at St Albans until then.

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Last Updated at 09:46
14 May 13:24
Panayiotou in court earlier. (Derrick Spies, News24)

14 May 13:22
Panayiotou is led down to the holding cells. (Photo by News24 correspondent Derrick Spies)

14 May 13:19
Panayiotou led out of court. Parents are allowed to follow him into holding cells.

14 May 13:13
Court is in agreement. Case is postponed to Wednesday, 20 May at 09:00. Panayiotou will remain in the holding cells at St Albans until then.

14 May 13:12

Advocate Price has indicated that they are reluctant to enter the agreement but concede that the delay is necessary.

Magistrate Beaton has indicated that, should the postponement be granted, she would require the presence of the investigating officer in court next week.


14 May 13:10
Stander has indicated that the State will file their opposing affidavits with the defence on Saturday so that they can prepare.

14 May 13:08
Prosecutor asks that bail application be postponed to May 20.

14 May 13:06
Advocate Price has concluded. State Prosecutor Stander is now speaking.

14 May 13:06

Advocate Price now reading affidavit of Panayiotous attorney, Alwyn Griebenow into record. The person is believed to have told Panayiotou that the denial of bail was due to one of the suspects turning State witness.

Panayiotou went on to say that the man said for a fee of R45k the witness could be removed as well as evidence such as cell phone and dockets could disappear


14 May 12:53
Common thread of statements being read indicate that they are dependent on their income from their work at the various businesses listed and describe Panayiotou as a friendly, caring boss.

14 May 12:50
Next statement descibes Panayiotou as a "Boss and Friend" who is a "good listener who treats his staff with respect".

14 May 12:48
Panayiotou described as "the best boss I've ever had".

14 May 12:48
Additional affidavits now being read into record relating to his role in the day to day operations of his various businesses including OK Grocer and the Infinity Cocktail Bar, both based in Algoa Park.

14 May 12:44
Both affidavits from his parents are character witnesses.

14 May 12:42
Advocate Price now reading affidavits of support from Panayiotous parents into record.

14 May 12:42
Panayiotou concludes that he is no flight risk, that  he loved his wife and that there is no motive for him to have her murdered. He says he will not interact with witnesses and that he is concerned about the viability of his businesses should he not be granted bail.

14 May 12:37
Not to be granted bail would be a matter of punishment before conviction, Panayiotou's lawyer says on his behalf.

14 May 12:35
Panayiotou - I'm more likely to be hurt in prison versus at home in my own community.

14 May 12:34
Panayiotou says he does not know how long he will be able to survive under the aforementioned "disgusting" conditions in the holding cells.

14 May 12:34
Panayiotou indicates that his counsel has advised him that the chance of his trial taking place this year or even in the first half of next year is unlikely.

14 May 12:32
He indicates that, should he remain in custody his businesses would likely collapse.

14 May 12:31
Jayde and I were in love, Panayiotou claims.

14 May 12:29
Panayiotou says shock or outrage by society at his release on bail does not allow the court to undermine his rights. He says there have been many other "more serious" murders have been committed whereby the suspects have been released on bail.

14 May 12:25
Panayiotou says no motive for murder has been put forward.

14 May 12:24
Panayiotou says he will be pleading not guilty.

14 May 12:23
Panayiotou names his alleged mistress in affidavits, says she's taking strain and has allegedly been threatened with violence.

14 May 12:19
Panayiotou has indicated that he is prepared to pay whatever the court sets as his bail.

14 May 12:18
Panayiotou in his affidavit says: "I have no intention to leave country. I believe I will be found innocent. And I will await my trial"

14 May 12:15
Panayiotou's lawyer says he is aware that the State claim to have a strong case, but the State also said it had a strong case in the Oscar Pistorius case, and he was given bail.

14 May 12:13

Panayiotou also indicated that he has already given his passport to his attorney and that he has instructed them to hand over to police if so requested.

Panayiotou affidavit lists his business interests and that the business that he runs, namely the OK Grocer in Algoa Park is responsible for 60 people.


14 May 11:59
Poor conditions in contravention of the Constitution and Correctional Services Act. Describes the conditions of holding cells as "despicable and disgusting"

14 May 11:58
Panayiotou's affidavit brings attention to the poor conditions of holding cells.

14 May 11:52
Price draws attention to Affidavit which includes photos of the cells at St Albans. Application is done through an affidavit by Panayiotou.

14 May 11:50
Advocate Terry Price now presenting defense for bail application.

14 May 11:50
State indicates bail is opposed as schedule 6 offence.

14 May 11:47
Count 7: Defeating the ends of justice applicable to Panayiotou.

14 May 11:46
Count 5: Unlawful possession of a firearm. This count only relates to accused 3 not to Panayiotou. Count 6: Unlawful possession of ammunition.  This also only relates to accused 3.

14 May 11:41

Charges are being read out. Panayiotou first charge is conspiracy to commit murder. Count 2: robbery with aggravated  circumstances. Count 3: Kidnapping. Count 4: Murder.

Christopher is wearing a plain black suit.


14 May 11:40
Christopher's dad Costa, on the very left looks on, Christopher's grandmother sits next to him, and third from left is his mother Fanoula (Derrick Spies, News24 correspondent).

14 May 11:34

14 May 11:09
Court adjourned to 11:30 to allow Times Media to set up cameras.

14 May 11:06
The rest of media photographers will be allowed access to take photographs while court is not in session.

14 May 11:05
Panayiotou's defence did not oppose media presence.

14 May 11:04
Beaton says that the application is not the same as that made for the Oscar Pistorius trial.

14 May 11:02
No flash photography or additional lighting, the court says. And no audio recordings of bench discussions or discussions between defendant and counsel.

14 May 10:59

Court rules that they will allow Times Media application.

One video camera and one stills camera will be allowed. Cameras will not be allowed to move or interfere with any of procedings.


14 May 10:52
Representative Lunen Meyer for the Media application in front of Magistrate Beaton.

14 May 10:48

Court is back in session.

Deputy chairperson of AfriForum, Kobus Gerber, who is in court says they are here to call for the denial of  bail for Christopher Panayiotou.


14 May 10:40

Representative of the Commission for Gender Equality Dr Nondumiso Maphazi is also present.

Maphazi says the Commission are observing the proceedings and will give their views on the matter at a later stage. They have been awarded a watching brief by the National Prosecuting Authority.


14 May 10:04

Small contingent from DA Women's Network  outside the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court (Derrick Spies, News24 correspondent)

In a statement, Dawn said: "We are living in an extremely violent and unsafe environment and the DA is deeply distressed by what appears to be increasing incidents of gender violence, femicide and rape particularly of underage girls.

"We’ve made it our moral duty and a matter of conscience to support young women who have been victimized. Part of our message to all women is that they should stand up, speak out and be there to support one another. No one should suffer in silence."

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