No new evidence in Panayioutou case for new bail bid - State

2016-06-06 18:46
Murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou  (Derrick Spies, News24)

Murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou (Derrick Spies, News24)

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Port Elizabeth – The State has argued that Christopher Panayiotou has not presented the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court with any new evidence to warrant a new bail application.

State prosecutor Marius Stander said that while a lot had been said in court, it did not amount to new facts that would warrant a second bail application.

Stander said the test for new facts was more than just flooding the court with information, but rather, that the information needed to be evaluated on whether it impacted on the grounds for which bail was originally denied.

Stander said this meant the defence needed to provide new evidence that would challenge that the state had a strong case against Panayiotou, that there was evidence to suggest exceptional circumstances, that Panayiotou would not interfere with witnesses or evidence and that he was not a flight risk.

Stander said that while Panayiotou's legal representative Advocate Terry Price had alleged that the state had deliberately tried to mislead the court, this was not the case.

Stander also questioned how it was possible that the defence was able to say that state witness Luthando Siyoni was beaten when neither Panayiotou nor his defense council had been present during the time of Siyoni's arrest.

He said that if it were the case, as Price alleged in his heads of argument, that numerous police officers had beaten a handcuffed Siyoni over a four-hour period, how was it that he only had a slightly swollen eye.

Recorded conversation

Stander also asked why the defense had submitted no less than 13 affidavits in the new bail application, but did not have one statement to corroborate the allegation that Siyoni had been beaten, yet the State had a signed affidavit from Siyoni himself saying that he was not.

"Why not tell us who the source is that says Siyoni was assaulted. It can't be the accused [Panayiotou] as he wasn't there and it can't be his attorney, who... already filed numerous affidavits," said Stander.

Stander also pointed out that the defence had not addressed the issue of Panayiotou being a flight risk, aside from saying that should it be proven that the state had a weak case, it was less likely that Panayiotou would flee.

Stander also questioned Panayiotou's version of events relating to the recorded conversation between Panayiotou and Siyoni after Jayde's abduction.

He said all one had to do was read the transcript to realise that Panayiotou's claims that he was acting on behalf of the police and was trying to extract information from Siyoni was blatantly untrue.

"If this was the case, why would he search Siyoni for a wire... If he is trying to entrap Siyoni, why would he instruct Siyoni to destroy evidence, why would he tell Siyoni not to call him?" asked Stander.

After Stander's arguments were heard, Price requested that court be adjourned so that he could prepare a response to Stander's heads of argument which he had only received at the beginning of proceedings on Monday.

Magistrate Abigail Beeton agreed and the matter was postponed to Friday, June 10.

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

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