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Christopher Paniyiotou denied bail

JUNE 5, 2015
Christopher Paniyiotou denied bail

Murder-accused, Christopher Panayiotou, has been denied bail by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday. Magistrate Abigail Beeton said comprehensive evidence has been received, subjected to a lot of case law - apparently that was not enough to save Panayiotou. 

Magistrate Beaton told the court Panayiotou's defense did not prove exceptional circumstances why he should be released on bail.

Jayde's sister, Toni, broke down as Panayiotou, who is accused of orchestrating her sister's killing, was denied bail. For the first time, Jayde's father was in court while her mother was not present for the hearing.

There was jubilation from the benches while Panayiotou's family showed unhappiness.

Yesterday, Magistrate Beeton said she had hoped to hand down judgment on Thursday and had a draft order for his bail application ready.

However, she said she wanted one more day to reconsider, following "clarity" she had received during Thursday's proceedings.

Panayiotou, 28, has been in custody at St Alban's Prison for more than a month since his arrest on April 29 for the murder of Jayde Panayiotou, who disappeared on April 21.

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

Thando Siyoli‚ 31‚ and Sizwezakhe Vumazonke‚ 30‚ are his co-accused. The State has also struck a deal for Siyoli to become a witness in return for possible immunity from prosecution. Panayiotou's girlfriend Chanelle Coutts would be a direct witness.


On Thursday, Panayiotou's lawyer Terry Price said the State's description of the motive for the murder of Jayde was a "thumbsuck" and a "lie".

"This is pure poor unadulterated thumbsuck," he said, making a last ditch bid for Panayiotou to be released on bail.

Price rejected a submission that Jayde was killed because her husband was cash strapped and would lose his inheritance if he carried on seeing Coutts.

Price said there was no affidavit from his client's girlfriend Chanelle Coutts, and the State was just producing "speculation".

"There is a smell in this courtroom and I suspect that it will continue into the trial," added Price.

If there was a statement saying she was killed for money, he wanted to see it.


Prosecutor Marius Stander said he was not afraid to say that he had an affidavit saying that.

Price pounced and as he threatened to file an application to see the affidavit, the recording equipment crashed and court was adjourned for a short period.

Earlier, the court heard that Panayiotou had offered R50 000 for bail. The State would take custody of his documents, which include a Cyprus ID card and a South African ID.

Price had said that Panayiotou would use a cellphone with a GPS tracking device allowing police to keep an eye on his movements.


---additional reporting News24wire