AS IT HAPPENED: Day 31 of Panayiotou murder trial cut short

2016-11-24 10:00

Digital forensics expert Willem Wouter Pretorius was called to the witness stand as the Panayiotou trial entered day 31, but proceedings were cut short when court adjourned for the day before the morning break, evidently in line with predetermined discussions.

The accused in the Panayiotou case

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Last Updated at 06:50
24 Nov 09:57

24 Nov 09:57

TP: I have just one question 

TP: Was there sound? 

WP: No, there was not 

TP: I put it to you that there was sound and we will be playing it to the court 

WP: I was not aware of that 

TP: No further questions 

PD: No questions 

MS: No cross-examination 

MS: I request that the court stands down for the rest of the day, as discussed in Chambers. 

MS: As indicated, it is my intention to begin with the evidence of the recording of the conversation on the 29th of April. 

TP: No objection. May I just ask that if we do start tomorrow, if possible that we start with Reynolds. 

TP: If not, then we can proceed. 

Chetty: Court is adjourned to tomorrow. 

24 Nov 09:52

MS: And you have had the opportunity to view the video, is it a true reflection of what happened? 

WP: Yes. I also want to add that I showed the video to Mr Siyoni and he was satisfied with its contents. 

MS: The last thing I want to know, was access gained to Facebook via a computer? 

WP: Yes, that is correct. I used my police issued computer, with a 3G card to gain access to the network. 

MS: And how was the video made? 

WP: I used video screen recording software to make the video. 

MS: I have no further questions 

24 Nov 09:49

MS: What I want to ask, was he specifically asked to give permission to go into his Facebook account? 

WP: Before I arrived at the Humewood Police Station, I was told by the investigating officer that Luthando Siyoni had given permission to access his account. 

WP: When I set up the computer, he was not yet available, when he arrived at Humewood I also appraised him with what we were going to do. 

WP: He also gave me permission to access his account. I took a photo of him, and explained that this was to prove that he was the Facebook owner. 

MS: You told us you had his number from him, but do you know if the investigating officer had access to the password? 

WP: He had the report with the password in it, but I don't think he knew he had the password, as it was Luthando Siyoni who had pointed it out. 

MS: And then a video was taken of the access to his Facebook? 

WP: Yes 

24 Nov 09:45

MS: I want to show you a recording of a Facebook account 

WP: Yes, I am aware of it 

MS: Is it correct that, before you came to court this morning, you compared the authenticity of this recording with the original? 

WP: Yes 

MS: And has it been tampered with, or is it authentic? 

WP: It is still authentic 

MS: Can you tell the court how it occurred that you became involved in this matter, and how did it happen that you came to make this recording 

WP: I was attached to the digital forensics division in East London at the time. I received a request from the Investigating Officer Captain Swanepoel to assist with a Facebook investigation. 

MS: Did you come through to PE? 

WP  Yes, I came through on the 7th of October 2015 

MS: The information in relation to the username and password, where did you get that? 

MS: I used the word username, but it could be the email address or cell number 

WP: I got the email, and password I got from Luthando Siyoni 

24 Nov 09:39

MS: Is it correct that you are working for SABRIC?

WP: That is correct 

MS: Is it correct that in 2015, you were attached to Directorate of Crime Investigation, specifically in digital analysis? 

WP: That is correct 

MS: And how much experience did you have, specifically in digital? 

WP: At that stage, it was about 5 years 

24 Nov 09:37

MS: I have been asked by the interpreter if the Xhosa and Afrikaans is necessary 

TP: Afrikaans translation not necessary 

PD: Xhosa is not required 

24 Nov 09:36

MS: The State calls Willem Wouter Pretorius (WP)  

(Derrick Spies/News24) 

24 Nov 09:35

24 Nov 09:20

(Image: Derrick Spies/News24) 

24 Nov 09:15

Police grilled by defence over Siyoni in Panayiotou trial 

The police officer who transported alleged middleman-turned-State witness Luthando Siyoni was grilled further by Christopher Panayiotou's defence counsel during the 30th day of the trial in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

Records indicate that Siyoni made a confession under oath in Fort Beaufort after his arrest detailing his role as a middleman in hiring a hitman to murder Panayiotou's wife Jayde. He later became a section 204 witness for the State and gave a second statement which again implicated Panayiotou.

During his testimony in court, however, Siyoni said he had nothing to do with the hit and his relationship with the alleged hitman, Sizwe Vumazonke, was linked to a search for cheap second-hand weights for his gym.

He alleged that Vumazonke had told him that he had been hired to kill Jayde and that Panayiotou had given him R80 000 to give to Vumazonke. 

24 Nov 09:15


Panayiotou may apply for bail again - lawyer 

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. 

24 Nov 09:15


Officer's evidence contradicts Panayiotou bouncer's claim of no sleep before confession 

The Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday heard how alleged middleman Luthando Siyoni's snoring kept one of the officers transporting him to Fort Beaufort awake.

This emerged during testimony from Warrant Officer Dirk Ignatius Greeff, who had been responsible for transporting Siyoni to Fort Beaufort police station so that he could make his confession during the early hours of April 28 2015.

The testimony contradicted Siyoni who alleged under cross-examination by Christopher Panayiotou's defence that he had not been able to get any sleep at all during his trip.

Greeff told the court that he noticed Siyoni's eye was swollen when he had gone to collect him and had immediately asked him about it. 

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