Ruling expected in Panayiotou trial-within-a-trial

Christopher Panayiotou, left, is standing trial for the murder of his wife Jayde, with him is co-accused Sinethemba Nemembe
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

The Panayiotou murder trial resumes in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday with Judge Dayalin Chetty expected to rule on the admissibility of a sting video.

The video – in which alleged middleman Luthando Siyoni and murder accused Christopher Panayiotou are recorded while outside the Algoa Park Steers – formed part of a lengthy trial-within-a-trial.

It is alleged that Panayiotou, 30, hired Siyoni to find hitmen to kidnap and kill Panayiotou’s wife Jayde on April 21 2015.

While Siyoni initially admitted to his role in the alleged hit, he has since recanted on his confession.

Advocate Terry Price SC Price said in his latest papers before the court that Siyoni was unlawfully removed from his workplace and taken to a remote police station in KwaNobuhle.

There, he said, police unlawfully questioned, threatened and assaulted him.

Then they took him 210km away to Fort Beaufort early in the morning to make a confession.

Price said the quality of the state’s evidence was poor and mostly mendacious, in comparison with the honesty, of the defence’s witnesses.

Price accused investigating officer Captain Kanna Swanepoel of dishonesty, and of deliberately falsifying documents to bolster the state’s case.

He called Swanepoel’s demeanour in court arrogant and bombastic.

“The determination therefore of the admissibility or otherwise of what happened in the vehicle at Algoa Park Steers must be determined largely on the manner in which the evidence was obtained through Siyoni,” Price said.

Leave a Reply