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Panayiotou murder trial: State expected to wrap up 'trial within a trial'

May 2, 2017
Panayiotou murder trial: State expected to wrap up 'trial within a trial'

The trial of disgraced Port Elizabeth businessman, Christopher Panayiotou, and co-accused Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, will resume on Tuesday in the Port Elizabeth High Court with the State expected to wrap up the 'trial within a trial' proceedings.

On Friday, State Prosecutor, Marius Stander, said that he might have one more witness to bring to the stand, a Magistrate.

Panayiotou and his co-accused are alleged to have orchestrated the faked kidnapping and murder of his wife, Jayde, in April 2015.

There was drama in the courtroom as Investigating Officer, Captain Kanna Swanepoel, took to the stand for cross examination by Defence Advocate, Terry Price.

Friday also marked two years since the discovery of Jayde’s body in Uitenhage.

Siyoni's testimony cannot be trusted...

The issue of Luthando Siyoni’s alleged assault was once again brought up and Price asked Swanepoel if Siyoni ever mentioned it to him.

Siyoni is the alleged middleman, who arranged for alleged hitman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke,  who is now deceased to kill Jayde.

Swanepoel said that Siyoni never mentioned an assault to him.

“I find that to be a little strange, he mentioned it to two other officers, why not you?” questioned Price.

Swanepoel then confronted Price about making ‘generous’ contributions to Babalwa Breakfast’s (Siyoni's girlfriend) eye tests as well as a supply of contact lenses.

“I do not appreciate your insinuations, you are accusing me of bribery,” said Price.

The Defence then brought up the issue of the car that was to be used during a sting operation when Siyoni was to call Panayiotou to try and coerce a confession out of him.

Price questioned whether Siyoni knew that a car was going to be used, to which Swanpoel said he did, Price stated that this was the first time he heard that Siyoni knew about the car.

“Minor details can sometimes slip through the cracks,” explained Swanepoel.

Price said that using a car to entrap someone is not what he would call a minor detail.

The issue of the pocket books was also brought up again, and Price asked if Panayiotou signed Swanepoel’s pocket book when he was being arrested.

Swanepoel replied that Panayiotou refused to sign it; Price then stated that it should not have been allowed.

“What was I supposed to do, break his arm off and make him sign it?” questioned Swanepoel.

Price then mentioned that Siyoni said in his statement that the police pretended to phone a lawyer for him.

“I don't think the court should put any value on what Siyoni said in this court. He is lying,” said Swanepoel.

“Then did he lie about everything he said on the stand?” questioned Price.

Police played on Panayiotou's emotions

Price then accused the South African Police (SAPS) of playing Panayiotou’s emotions against him by constantly making calls only hours after his wife’s funeral in order to incriminate him.

Panayiotou’s alleged mistress, Chanelle Coutts, was then brought up by Price, who stated Swanepoel tried to get her to sign a statement that contained information he put in there himself, which is why Coutts refused to sign it.

“I made a note of the things she said she was unhappy with, they were typos and minor details,” said Swanepoel.

Swanepoel stated that during her consultations with her lawyer and himself, there were recordings made – the Defence asked for access to these recordings.

Price said that the main reason they wanted access to them was because they would be able to hear that Coutts was being spoken to disrespectfully and they didn’t want anyone to hear this.

Price concluded the proceedings by saying he was practically done with his cross examination, but he had a few details he wanted to go over before finishing.