Panayiotou bail judgment postponed to June 4 - As it happened

2015-05-27 10:30

Magistrate Abigail Beeton has postponed the judgment of murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou’s bail hearing to June 4, with both the defence and prosecution having wrapped up their arguments.

PE Magistrate's Court

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Last Updated at 03:30
27 May 13:06

Matter postponed to June 4.

“It has been a lengthy application,” Beeton says.

Court has adjourned.

27 May 13:05

Beeton has indicated that she would like to finalise the matter by Friday.

Addressing Panayiotou directly, she says she understands that he has been in custody for a long time.

27 May 13:03

Beeton has indicated that she had hoped to finalise the case by this Friday, but that due to the last two days and the number of other outstanding judgements this is unlikely

She says she needs to apply her mind to what has been presented to the court.

"I'm not going to sleep," she says.

27 May 13:02

Beeton is not happy with the back and forth.

Beeton asks "now what?”

Price chirps that it is now her turn to decide when she will hand down her judgment.

Price has indicated that Griebenow has "gone globetrotting" and that Price will not be available tomorrow and Friday.

27 May 12:59
Price responds, saying that Swanepoel's statements are still false.

27 May 12:59

Stander says it is important that the affidavit by Investigating Officer Swanepoel was submitted when Price was not in court, and that it was submitted before Panayiotou’s response.

He says this is crucial, as it means Swanepoel did not have access to the responses made by Panayiotou, so it could not be argued that Swanepoel is unethical.

27 May 12:57
Stander interjects, and has asked for the court to indulge him for 2 minute.

27 May 12:56

“Why did the defence advise Panayiotou not to disclose his Cypriot dual citizenship?” Beeton asks Price.

“This is absolutely shocking,” she says.

27 May 12:54
Beeton says she has one question relating to Price's request for her to consider the State’s ‘flagrant misleading’ of the court as exceptional circumstances...

27 May 12:54

27 May 12:53
And Price has concluded his rebuttal...

27 May 12:51

Price now wrapping up.

He refers to a judgement attached to his heads, addressing the issue of schedule 6 cases.

27 May 12:49
Journalists catch a small breather as Price continues to cite very technical case law.

27 May 12:46

27 May 12:45
Price now referring to case law.

27 May 12:40

27 May 12:39

Price says that someone in the prison community had phoned him and told him that his client wanted his services.

“The whole situation stinks to high heaven,” says Price.

27 May 12:38
Tiervlei's affidavit is very vague, says Price, because he is talking absolute ‘hogwash’.

27 May 12:38
Panayiotou’s attorney, Griebenow, brought the matter to the attention to the court.

27 May 12:37


Price is now addressing the issue of Tiervlei, a man who is reported to have approached Christopher Panayiotou in St Albans and offered to have witnesses and evidence disappear.

27 May 12:36
Price talks of how the State claims the accused has only got debt. He asks how is it then that he has R3.1m in assets?

27 May 12:35
Price also points out that reference has been made to other shareholders, but says that these shareholders are in relation to BEE deals.

27 May 12:35
Affidavits in front of the court say that Panayiotou runs the business and without him the businesses would fail.

27 May 12:34

Panayiotou has been able to secure the services of a senior advocate and attorney, which indicates that he has means.

“I had to chuckle at all the speculation around my client’s business operations.”

27 May 12:33

Panayiotou finances:

Price is now addressing the issue of the accused's financial status.

27 May 12:33
“The State’s submission of ‘false facts’ were in and of themselves exceptional circumstances and should be considered in the granting of bail.”

27 May 12:27
“You cannot falsify facts to keep a person in custody,” says Price.

27 May 12:25

27 May 12:24
Swanepoel should have indicated that he was in fact not sure of the fact that Panayiotou had the passport and that he was following up to confirm.

27 May 12:23

Investigating Officer’s statements Price is now challenging statements submitted by IO Kanna Swanepoel, saying that he made misleading statements.

Swanepoel, for one, stated as a matter of fact that the Cypriot passport had been obtained to avoid trial.

27 May 12:21

When an accused submits his version of events and it is not challenged by the State it has to be accepted, he continues.

“90% of the submissions made by Christopher Panayiotou went unchallenged.”

27 May 12:19
“It is the courts responsibility to look at what is the most probable,” Price tells Beeton.

27 May 12:17
Price asks: How can the court find that the destruction of evidence of a sexual relationship, and removal of possible pornographic material from his phone was tampering with evidence?

27 May 12:16
As far as the issue of interference with witnesses and destroying evidence, he has already addressed this issue in his heads of argument.

27 May 12:14
Price argues that the recording of Christopher Panayiotou was entrapment, even though the State denies this.

27 May 12:13
Price says that in their first affidavit, the state had denied that Siyoli had been made a section 204 witness; but that now it was coming out that Siyoli may well become a witness for the State.

27 May 12:11
Panayiotou had 8 days, from the date of Jayde's murder to the date of his arrest, to access to his Cyprus ID card and flee, Price states.

27 May 12:10
Price says he still has not heard why accused number 1, Siyoli, was taken to Fort Beaufort after his arrest.

27 May 12:09

Price now referring to a book, Fruit of the Poisoned Tree wherein international fingerprint experts proved that a fingerprint had been planted.

He is not implying that the State has planted evidence.

But if Panayiotou believed the State had a strong case, he would make a decision to flee.

27 May 12:07

Highlighting sections, he refers to how the evidence doesn't show that it was a murder or a hit.

Price says he has never met a prosecutor who has ever said he had a weak case.

27 May 12:05

Price says the strength of the State’s case is not the be all and end all of whether bail should be granted or not, but it is just one aspect that needs to be taken into account.

Price says he is not going to get involved in a debate on the strength of case.

Price says one just has to look at the [video] transcript to realise that this does not show he was involved in the murder of his wife.

27 May 12:02


Price: Panayiotou has already indicated that he would prefer to be held in a communal cell as an individual cell is lonely.

27 May 12:01
Price: While a single cell will be better than a communal cell, he has to deal with the solitary confinement.

27 May 12:00
Price is addressing the issue of the conditions in the cell.

27 May 11:59

Court back in session.

Advocate Price now addressing the court.

He says Stander has said so much he doesn't know where to begin.

27 May 11:58

27 May 11:53

Stander says on a technical point, it is important to note that there is more information to cellphone than just the information given by the service providers, and that while a lot of data had been wiped, there is still a lot available and the State still has the middle man's phone.

Stander concludes. Beeton asks for a brief five-minute adjournment.

27 May 11:49

“Although there has been a lot made about the admissibility of the video and audio transcript from the car, the state is confident that all the necessary procedures had been followed.”

It is also not the only evidence, he says.

27 May 11:47

Stander points that the forensic investigation is also being conducted to determine touch dna on cash that had been in the possession of both Siyoli and Vumazonke.

Stander says there are also numerous witnesses that can also corroborate the State’s case of Panayiotou having an affair with Coutts.

27 May 11:45
He goes further to point out that this evidence explains the various movements of the three accused.

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