Panayiotou in new bid for bail

MARCH 14, 2016

Christopher Panayiotou, who is accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife Jayde in April last year, appeared briefly in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday afternoon with co-accused Sizwezakhe Vumazonke and Sinethemba Nenembe.

Alwyn Griebenow, representing Panayiotou, indicated that he had been instructed to arrange a bail application based on new facts and that he was looking at a date in May to proceed.

State prosecutor Marius Stander said both the defence and state would meet with a judge to arrange for a date in May for the bail application to proceed.

Stander said the State's case was nearing conclusion, but that they were still waiting for cellphone information requested from the US and for Vumazonke's financial statements.

The National Prosecuting Authority has made an application to the Department of Homeland Security in the US to retrieve the data from Christopher Panayiotou’s cellphone, specifically relating to WhatsApp and Facebook messages.

“The warrant of execution has been issued by the US, so we are just waiting for that information to come,” said Stander.

Stander said the State would issue the case docket to the Director of Public Prosecutions next week for instruction on the matter and that the State would make portions of the docket available to the defence.

It is alleged Panayiotou paid Luthando Siyoli, 31, a bouncer at his nightclub in Algoa Park, to hire a hit man, identified as Vumazonke, 30, to murder his wife.  Nenembe, 28, was later linked to the case. Siyoli has since turned state witness.

The case was postponed to April 18.