Panayiotou approaches Constitutional Court to challenge sentence

Convicted murderer Christopher Panayiotou has turned to the Constitutional Court in a bid to overturn his murder conviction after all his appeals failed.

Panayiotou orchestrated the murder of his wife, Jayde Panayiotou, in 2015, hiring Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko to kill her.

Panayiotou and his wife, who was a teacher, were living in Port Elizabeth at the time.

Jayde's body was found in an open field near Uitenhage on April 22, 2015. She was shot three times.

In November 2017, after being found guilty, Panayiotou was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, Sibeko, who was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, was sentenced to 15 years, while Nenembe was sentenced to life for murder and an additional 15 years for robbery.

READ: Jubilation and tears as Panayiotou is sentenced to life

Since his sentencing, Panayiotou has desperately tried to appeal his sentence, but had no luck after being denied leave to appeal by the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Similarly, when he appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) in Bloemfontein directly, he was also met with rejection. The SCA believed that an appeal would have no reasonable chance of success.

Panayiotou has now turned to the Constitutional Court.

On Monday, his attorney, Alwyn Griebenow, told News24 that papers had been lodged with the Constitutional Court some time ago, but did not specify the date.

He said that the State had given notice on June 7 that they would be opposing the application.

The State now has 15 days to file answering papers, then Panayiotou's legal team will file the reply, thereafter they will find out if the Constitutional Court will hear the application.

Without going into detail on what their constitutional challenge will be, Griebenow said the team’s arguments were substantive.

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