Panayiotou blames State witness for hit in new bail bid

2016-05-17 21:02
Murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou in court to hear his bail judgment. (Derrick Spies, News24)

Murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou in court to hear his bail judgment. (Derrick Spies, News24)

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Port Elizabeth - Christopher Panayiotou has nothing to do with the hit on his wife Jayde last year, and now blames his former barman, State witness Luthando Siyoni for the murder, the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday.

Panayiotou was making his third attempt at getting bail since being arrested for his alleged involvement in orchestrating Jayde’s murder in April last year.

Magistrate Abigail Beeton initially refused him bail in June 2015. His lawyers took the matter to the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown, which dismissed their application.

In November, Panayiotou filed a new application for bail, but later withdrew it as his lawyers still did not have the docket.

In a 67-page long affidavit read into evidence in before Beeton on Tuesday, Panayiotou reiterated that he was innocent.

Panayiotou’s parents, family, and staff of the OK Grocers in Algoa Park sat in the front row of the public gallery. The employees wore blue shirts proclaiming their boss’s innocence. Jayde’s parents, her sister Toni, and their friends sat in the middle row.

Panayiotou said affidavits from his mistress Chanelle Coutts and her best friend Clarissa Kapp, in no way implicated him in the murder, contrary to the statements made by the investigating officer, Kanna Swanepoel.

He questioned the State’s explanation of the motive for having his wife killed. He denied that he was in financial difficulties because Jayde was spending his money and forcing him to buy a house.

He pointed out that they were married with an ante-nuptial contract without accrual, and that Jayde had managed her own finances.

He disputed Swanepoel's statements that his father had threatened to disinherit him if he did not break off the affair with Coutts.

Panayiotou alleged that Siyoni implicated him after police assaulted him. He not know what Siyoni’s motive would be to have his wife killed, but believed he was involved in selling drugs.

Since being arrested he was forced to close one of his businesses and sell his two properties.

He again offered to pay what was deemed a fair bail amount, based on his now reduced earnings, having been detained for a year.

He offered to wear an ankle bracelet and report to police however many times the court deemed necessary.

He said he had nowhere to go as all his assets were in Port Elizabeth.

Prosecutor Marius Stander said he would argue that Panayiotou had not presented any new evidence to justify a new bail application.

Beeton postponed the matter to Thursday.

In previous court documents, Luthando Siyoni’s surname was incorrectly spelt Siyoli. It was corrected in the indictment submitted on Monday.

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

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