Tension mounts at Panayiotou bail application

2015-06-04 12:29
Christopher Panayiotou in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court. (Derrick Spies, News24)

Christopher Panayiotou in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court. (Derrick Spies, News24)

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Port Elizabeth - There was high drama at Christopher Panayiotou's bail application in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Thursday, with his lawyer describing the State's description of the motive for the murder of his wife Jayde as a "thumbsuck" and a "lie".

- See the Live Update of proceedings.

''This is pure poor unadulterated thumbsuck,'' said advocate Terry Price, making a last ditch bid for 28-year-old Panayiotou to be released on bail.

In a heated exchange, Price rejected a submission that Jayde was killed because her husband was cash strapped and would lose his inheritance if he carried on seeing his girlfriend Chanelle Coutts.


Price said this was a lie, and wanted to know who had said Jayde was killed because her husband could not afford her.

What was the logic in buying a house for Jayde, if had wanted to get rid of her?, he asked.

Price said there was no affidavit from his client's girlfriend Chanelle Coutts, and the State was just producing "speculation.''

"There is a smell in this courtroom and I suspect that it will continue into the trial," added Price.

If there was a statement saying she was killed for money, he wanted to see it.

Prosecutor Marius Stander said he was not afraid to say that he had an affidavit saying that.

Price pounced and as he threatened to file an application to see the affidavit, the recording equipment crashed and court was adjourned for a short period.

R50 000 offer for bail

Panayiotou has been in custody at St Alban's Prison for more than a month since his arrest on April 29 for the murder of Jayde, who disappeared on April 21.

His lawyer has complained bitterly about what he says are appalling conditions at the prison.

Panayiotou faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder‚ kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating the ends of justice.

Thando Siyoli‚ 31‚ and Sizwezakhe Vumazonke‚ 30‚ are his co-accused. The State has also struck a deal for Siyoli to become a witness in return for possible immunity from prosecution. Panayiotou's girlfriend Coutts would be a direct witnesss.

She has her own lawyer now.

Earlier, the court heard that Panayiotou had offered R50 000 for bail. The State would take custody of his documents, which include a Cyprus ID card and a South African ID. Price had said that Panayiotou would use a cellphone with a GPS tracking device allowing police to keep an eye on his movements.

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

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