Ricochet News

Panayiotou Trial: Drama as Defence Adv Terry Price loses it in court and asks Judge Chetty to recuse himself

By Jesica Slabbert - Jun 12, 2017
Panayiotou Trial: Drama as Defence Adv Terry Price loses it in court and asks Judge Chetty to recuse himself

The ongoing murder trial of Port Elizabeth businessman, Christopher Panayiotou, took a dramatic turn on Monday when Defence Advocate, Terry Price, was denied his request for a postponement by Judge Dalayin Chetty.

This came after Judge Chetty had ruled that secret recordings that allegedly implicate Panayiotou in the murder of his teacher wife, Jayde, in April 2015, were admissible in court.

Price then argued that he would be litigating in the dark if he was not allowed time to consult with senior legal counsel on where to go from there. He then wanted the trial to be postponed until the 23rd of June.

His request was immediately denied by Judge Chetty, who stated that the trial has until the 30th of June to conclude and that Price should make a formal application at this point if he wants to postpone the trial.

“If this goes the wrong way my client could be spending life in prison,” a seemingly angry Price responded.

Judge Chetty again stated that he would not make any more postponements, which sparked an almost heated argument. Price claimed that the court was favouring the State and described how all the postponements requested by the State were granted.

Price then went on about how, since the beginning the Defence and their client, Panayiotou, had not been given a fair trial. He said that he was sick of the clapping and cheering coming from the “peanut gallery” and said that Judge Chetty has so far not done anything about it.

He then told the Judge that he cannot argue his case if he doesn’t know the reason why the evidence is being allowed in court, to which Judge Chetty told him he will provide his reasons at the end of the trial - and reminded Price that he is not obligated to give his reasons in the ‘trial within a trial’.

Price then went on again to say that the Judge has no idea what the Panayiotou trial has put him through, and that he has suffered insults and threats on social media.

The Advocate also claimed that journalists and that the press have been mistreating him and his family.

“I am litigating in the dark here, you need to give me time to properly prepare,” appealed Price.

Judge Chetty again denied postponement, to which Price stated that he cannot proceed then.

Just as the State called their first witness for the day, Price rose again to ask for a five minute adjournment, stating that he was very close to withdrawing from the case altogether.

When court resumed, Price then made a formal request that Judge Chetty recuses himself from the murder trial on the basis that he has not treated the Defence and Panayiotou fairly during the course of the trial.

Judge Chetty agreed to the request and will hear it on Wednesday morning.

Court adjourned.