Panayiotou Bail Denied: Potential Witness Tampering

By Chelsea-Summer Lodewyk    13-Jun-2015 11:17 UTC+02:00
Murder Accused Christopher Panayiotou Pic: JacarandFM

Murder accused Christopher Panayiotou.
Pic: Jacaranda FM.

Yet another slap in the face was served to Christopher Panayioutou and his legal team in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Magistrate Abigail Beeton listed the reasons she denied the murder accused bail on Friday the 5th June.

The Magistrate’s reasons included, but were not limited to the fact that Panayiotou’s father has a home in Cyprus, and with his recent attainment of Cypriot citizenship he would be a flight risk. She went on to say that Panayiotou is in massive debt and would probably abscond as soon as possible, which would be simple for him as there are several weak border points in the country that one could cross with bribery.

She also stated that the State’s argument that Christopher Panayiotou would hamper the investigation into his wife’s murder by influencing witness testimony, and doctoring evidence against him was plausible.

The magistrate also mentioned that Panayiotou and his legal team left out many details during his hearing, like the fact that he had dual citizenship in South Africa and Cyprus, his affair with Chanelle Coutts, who happened to be his employee and that his father, who was aware of the affair, threatened to disinherit him if he did not stop his extra-marital activities.

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

28-year-old Panayiotou is accused of organising a hit on his wife 29-year-old Jayde Panyiotou, a teacher at the Riebeek College for Girls in Uitenhage.

Jayde was kidnapped on the morning of the 21st of April outside of her marital home while waiting for a lift to work.

She was then beaten and shoved in a boot. Money was withdrawn from her account and she was then violently murdered.

Her body was found the next day in an abandoned area near the Kwanobuhle Township in Uitenhage.

Christopher Panayiotou was arrested seven days later in connection with Jayde’s murder.

His mistress and Thando Siyoli, one of the two men arrested for physically committing the crimes, have turned state witnesses.

Magistrate Beeton said Panayiotou and his legal team failed to show exceptional circumstances for him to be released on a Schedule 6 offence, premeditated murder.

Panayiotou and his two co-accused will reappear in court on the 19th of June.

His legal team say they plan to appeal Magistrate Beeton’s decision to deny Panayiotou bail.

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