Undercover cop spied on Panayiotou in prison, court hears

2017-04-24 19:35
Christopher Panayiotou (Werner Hills, Netwerk24)

Christopher Panayiotou (Werner Hills, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Port Elizabeth - Details of a failed undercover operation to spy on murder accused Christopher Panayiotou and his mistress Chanelle Coutts came to light in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday during the cross-examination of a member of the organised crime detectives.

Panayiotou and his co-accused - Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko - are facing charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, robbing and killing his wife Jayde.

She 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.

Moegamat Armien Humphries, a detective in the organised crime division, was called by State advocate Marius Stander to testify in the trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of a recording of Panayiotou and his bouncer, Luthando Siyoni, the alleged middleman-turned-State-witness shortly after Jayde's murder.

Humphries testified to how he had transported Siyoni's girlfriend, Babalwa Breakfast, to visit Siyoni while he was being held in protective custody at the Humewood Police Station.

AS IT HAPPENED: SMSes between Panayiotou and Siyoni scrutinised in trial

Hidden camera

He also told the court how he had been part of a delegation that had visited Siyoni in September 2016, when Siyoni had gone on a hunger strike and refused to eat the food the police were serving.

During cross examination, however, defence advocate Terry Price questioned Humphries about a previous affidavit he had made, relating to an incident where he had been sent undercover to the North End Prison to spy on Panayiotou and Coutts.

Humphries confirmed that he had gone to the prison on February 13, 2016, under instruction from investigating officer Kanna Swanepoel.

He confirmed that he had been wearing a prisoner's outfit and had been given a broom to sweep the floor in the visiting room of the prison.

Humphries said he had also been equipped with a hidden camera and had been given instructions to try and sweep the floor near the couple and get footage of them interacting.

He told the court he had not been successful, however, as he could not get close enough to eavesdrop and the camera had failed to capture any useable footage as it was pointing up too high.

After Humphries' testimony, the court adjourned.

It is set to reconvene on Wednesday, when Price is expected to begin his cross-examination of Swanepoel.

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

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.