Ricochet News

Christopher Panayiotou denied bail by Grahamstown High Court

JULY 28, 2015
Christopher Panayiotou denied bail by Grahamstown High Court

Christopher Panayiotou's second attempt at bail has been denied by Judge Glenn Goosen at the Grahamstown High Court. He will remain at St Albans Prison, outside of Port Elizabeth, while awaiting his court appearance in August.

Panayiotou spent the past week behind bars as Judge Goosen, decided on his latest bail bid. 

The NPA has welcomed the bail appeal denial saying; "we believe we've done enough to convince the court not to grant bail".

Jayde's family and supporters of the Justice for Jayde movement were over-joyed at Judge Goosen's decision to deny Panayiotou bail. They said justce had been served; Michelle Inggs, Jayde's mom, said the reading of the ruling "was the best two seconds of her life".

Reports suggest that neither Panayiotou's legal team nor his family were present in court today when Judge Goosen delivered his ruling from a 25-page document on why Panayiotou shouldn't get bail.

The Port Elizabeth businessman and his lawyers were hoping that they managed to convince Judge Goosen that Port Elizabeth Magistrate, Abigail Beeton, erred when she denied him bail earlier on.

In his bail appeal, his other counsel, Mike Hellens, SC, indicated that Panayiotou would fork out up to R200 000 for bail and pay for a private security firm to monitor his every move pending his trial.

Panayiotou is accused of masterminding the faked abduction and subsequent murder his wife, Jayde, and faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder‚ kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating the ends of justice.

Magistrate Beeton said that his legal counsel had failed to show why he needed to be granted bail given the strong case against him.

She also said that Panayiotou had lied about having dual citizenship - and would have nothing to lose if he made a run for it because he was in massive debt.

But, Panayiotou’s lawyers are now arguing Beeton ignored evidence that he has assets worth R3.1 million and that he is not a flight risk.

They claim the businessman told his lawyers about his Cypriot passport, but they told him that information was irrelevant to the bail application. They also argued that Magistrate Beeton’s reasoning would have made it impossible for anyone to get bail.

Panayiotou’s counsel Terry Price, SC, indicated in his initial bail appeal that the court rolls were packed his client might well have to wait more than a year before his trial could proceed.