Panayiotou may apply for bail again - lawyer

2016-11-23 19:30
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 - Christopher Panayiotou’s defence counsel has indicated that they may be bringing another bail application for him when court proceedings come to an end on December 2.

Panayiotou’s attorney, Alwyn Griebenow, said the defence was considering bringing another bail application, but would only make the final decision next week, based on what came out of the trial by then.

Should they go ahead, it will be the third official bail application that the defence will bring.

Panayiotou’s first bail application in May 2015, was eventually declined a month and a half later, when Magistrate Abigail Beeton found that Panayiotou had misled the court in saying he had nowhere to go, with it later becoming apparent that his father owned a house in Cyprus, where Panayiotou had dual citizenship.

This led to Beeton declaring him a flight risk.

New application

AS IT HAPPENED: Panayiotou defence tries poking holes in cops' testimony

Beeton also found that, based on the evidence before her, the State had a reasonably strong and decisive case and that there was a risk that Panayiotou would further tamper with evidence, after evidence was led that he had wiped his phone, as well as that of his mistress Chanelle Coutts, and could possibly interfere with witnesses.

Panayiotou later challenged the ruling in the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown, but the application was overruled by Judge Glenn Goosen on July 26 2015.

Panayiotou then brought a new application to the magistrate's court in May this year.

Beeton again heard the application, but found that, while the defence and State had placed a substantial amount of evidence before the court, it did not meet the criteria of new facts and the application was denied.

Panayiotou is currently on trial with his co-accused, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and the unlawful possession of ammunition.

Panayiotou also faces a separate charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Another accused, alleged hitman Sizwe Vumazonke, died in a state hospital in September, before the trial started.

The charges stem from the abduction and murder of Panayiotou’s wife Jayde in April 2015.

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

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