Panayiotou's parents support him in court

2015-05-26 09:54
Christopher Panayiotou (Lubabalo Ngcukana, City Press)

Christopher Panayiotou (Lubabalo Ngcukana, City Press)

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Port Elizabeth - The parents of 28-year-old Christopher Panayiotou, who is accused of killing his wife Jayde, arrived at the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday morning, where his bail application continued.

They waited with journalists and curious members of the public who were jostling for a spot closest to the door.

Panayiotou’s attorney Alwyn Griebenow arrived around 09:00 and was seen chatting with some of his client’s family, including his father, a short distance down the hall.

Magistrate Abigail Beeton made it clear to Panayiotou when postponing the case last week that it did not mean she would be handing down her judgment in the bail application on Tuesday.

The State is opposing bail.

The affair

At his last appearance, the State had given evidence that Panayiotou had been having a sexual relationship and extra-marital affair with the 26-year-old Chanelle Coutts.

Panayiotou denied claims that debt could be his motive in his responding affidavit, submitting a list of his assets and liabilities which showed his net worth in February this year had exceeded R3m.

He, however, admitted to having an affair with Coutts for the past three years, but said it had no bearing on the case.

The 28-year-old faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder‚ kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating the ends of justice. Thando Siyoli‚ 31‚ and Sizwezakhe Vumazonke‚ 30‚ are Panayiotou’s co-accused.

He is being represented by Advocate Terry Price.

Both Price and prosecutor Marius Stander were expected to submit their heads of argument.

Damning evidence

One of the most damning pieces of evidence submitted by the State was the transcript of a conversation between Panayiotou and a co-accused, following the murder of his wife last month.

The meeting between Panayiotou and accused number 1, Siyoli, who worked for Panayiotou as a bouncer at his Infinity Club in Algoa Park, was set up by police following Siyoli’s arrest.

Professor Deon Eramus, the procedural law department head at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), told Netwerk24 that a tape recording might be inadmissible in court.

He said that with a so-called trap, the court would consider aspects such as the alleged criminals committing the offence by choice and not under compulsion or encouragement.

Erasmus said such a trap would never stand in court if a police officer was included.

“Only a private person or informant’s tape recordings will be allowed. As in the case of Siyoni,” he was quoted as saying.

Read more on:    jayde panayiotou  |  christopher panayiotou  |  port elizabeth  |  crime

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