Who is Christopher Panayiotou:
• The 30-year-old comes from a close-knit Greek family. He has two sisters and is the son of Costa and Fanoula Panayiotou. • He met Jayde Inggs through friends in 2004, and the two married in June 2013. He has since admitted to having an affair with an employee, Chanelle Coutts. • He is a businessman with a 10% share in OK Grocer in Algoa Park, a business run alongside his dad and an uncle. The store’s turnover was estimated at between R4-million and R6-million a month, with Panayiotou drawing a monthly salary of R30000. • He is the owner of Infinity Cocktail Bar in Algoa Park. • Panayiotou is further the owner of an internet cafe in Cotswold, valued at R750000, and which brought in about R10000 per month. • Last year, he became the owner of a luxury home in Lovemore Heights Estate valued at about R2.2-million.
The case so far:
• Panayiotou was arrested on April 30 last year and has been in custody at St Albans Prison ever since. He continuously complained about the dire conditions and the “inedible” prison food. • His first bail application was dismissed by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on June 5 last year after he was found to be a flight risk among other factors. He appealed against the decision in the Grahamstown High Court but was once again turned down on July 28 last year. Then, in May, he returned to the magistrate’s court to apply for bail based on new facts. This application was also dismissed by magistrate Abigail Beeton. • Panayiotou has been represented by some top legal minds in his fight to obtain access to the docket. The Port Elizabeth High Court finally ordered last month that some of the information be handed over to his lawyers.
What the prosecution alleges:
• Suspicious of his son’s affair with Coutts, Costa threatened to disinherit Panayiotou should he divorce Jayde. • Panayiotou could not afford the financial demands of a mistress and a wife. • He asked a bouncer at Infinity, Luthando Siyoni, to find men to kidnap and kill Jayde. • When police began asking questions, Panayiotou met Siyoni and told him to flee.
The evidence against him: • The statement of Siyoni, who shortly after his arrest turned state witness. • A video recording as part of an undercover sting operation in which Panayiotou can allegedly be seen patting Siyoni down for wires and questioning him about the alleged hit. • Facebook messages allegedly linking Panayiotou to his co-accused. • A statement from IT expert Donovan Vosloo, who says after Jayde’s death, Panayiotou asked him to wipe his phone.
The defence version: • Panayiotou has maintained his innocence throughout. He claims Siyoni was assaulted by the police and forced to implicate him.