Heated exchanges in Panayiotou case

2017-04-28 17:28
The accused, Christopher Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko in court. (Werner Hills, Netwerk24)

The accused, Christopher Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko in court. (Werner Hills, Netwerk24)

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Port Elizabeth - A heated exchange between Christopher Panayiotou's defence council and investigating officer, Captain Kanna Swanepoel, continued in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth on Friday, during the second day of Swanepoel's cross examination.

Panayiotou and his co accused, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, are facing charges including conspiring, kidnapping, robbery and for allegedly killing Jayde Panayiotou, who was abducted outside her townhouse complex in Kabega Park and later murdered in a field near KwaNobuhle on April 21, 2015.

A fourth suspect, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, the alleged hitman, died before the trial began.

Swanepoel was called to testify in a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of a recording of Panayiotou and his bouncer, Luthando Siyoni, the alleged middleman who turned state witness shortly after Jayde's murder.

Panayiotou's defence council have argued that Siyoni was tortured into making his confession and, as such, all further evidence should be inadmissible as "fruit from the poisonous tree".

Jibes

Defence advocate Terry Price again bombarded Swanepoel with questions ranging from when he had sought legal opinion about the recording of the calls between Siyoni and Panayiotou, to death threats against Siyoni that led to him being placed in protective custody.

Throughout the proceedings on Friday morning, the two exchanged jibes with each other.

At one point Price said Swanepoel was "well balanced, you have a chip on both shoulders".

Price once again brought up the issue of pocket books, questioning Swanepoel as to why he had not noted in his statements that Panayiotou had refused to sign his pocket book when he warned him during his arrest.

"What does Mr Price want me to do, break off his hand and get him to sign?" asked Swanepoel.

Price pointed out that the standing orders required Swanepoel to get one of the other officers to sign that he had warned Panayiotou.

"It may be the case, but there were colleagues of mine who were present who heard me warn him," said Swanepoel.

Price said Swanepoel had not even noted in his diary that he had warned Panayiotou, to which Swanepoel replied he wanted to see his diary, because he could not believe everything that Price told him.

"Be careful, Mr Swanepoel," said Price.

'Out of context'

Later, when questioned about a comment that Bosch had made, about how Siyoni had been told to become a section 204 witness, he would have to implicate Panayiotou, Swanepoel again took a swipe at Price.

"Mr Price is taking one sentence from a full incident. It is important for the court to understand the context of the sentence," said Swanepoel.

"You must be careful when you say I take things out of context, I am repeating his testimony," said Price.

Following another comment by Swanepoel, Price responded with: "Stop making comments about me. I have a job to do here."

Shortly afterward Price said: "I am scared to ask you your opinion, but I must."

Price asked Swanepoel why they had repeatedly tried to get Panayiotou to speak to Siyoni, when it was clear he did not want to.

"In hindsight, Panayiotou would have known that Siyoni was the only person who can link him to the murder," said Swanepoel.

Price responded: "You are shooting yourself in the foot; you are giving Chris a reason why he wouldn't want to speak to Siyoni."

The case continues.

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

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