There is a strong case against Christopher Panyiotou: Magistrate Beaton
Before the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court adjourned for lunch it heard that Magistrate Abigail Beaton denied murder accused Christopher Panayiotou bail because he was a flight risk as had been put forward by State Prosecutor, Marius Stander.
Magistrate Beaton said that Panayiotou had not been forthcoming with the court when he claimed that he had "no place to go outside SA" and it later emerged that he had just acquired a passport and ID from Cyprus.
She also quashed the defence’s argument that Panayiotou had no reason to flee South Africa owing to his business interests saying that the State had shown that he was actually in debt.
Magistrate Beeton made reference to the case George Louca – who was accused of killing Lolly Jackson, who also fled to Cyprus before South African prosecutors managed to have him extradited.
She said that Panayiotou’s lawyer handing in his travel documents was a hollow argument as South Africa has uncontrolled boarders and entry or exit was not exactly effectively controlled.
The R50 000 bail bond Panayiotou offered also did not do him good as it was an amount he could walk away from.
Magistrate Beaton told the court that the evidence against Panayiotou is strong.
She also asked why, of all places Panayiotou would have Jayde robbed in front of their home, as the recording shows he asked for this.
In response to Panayiotou’s claim that his jail cell was “despicable and disgusting” the Magistrate said "prisons are not intended to be a holiday farm".
Panayiotou’s family was in attendance while Jayde family did not attend.
Panayiotou is belived to be planning to appeal his bail denial in the High Court.
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