20°C / 22°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 1°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 0°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 32°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 8°C

Panayiotou case: ‘Hit money’ to be tested for DNA evidence

Christopher Panayiotou is accused of hiring two men to murder his wife for the sum of R70,000.

FILE: Christopher Panayiotou in the Port Elizabeth Magistrates Court on 20 May 2015. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN

PORT ELIZABETH - The money handed over to alleged middleman, Luthando Siyoli, for the apparent hit on schoolteacher Jayde Panayiotou is being tested for touch DNA evidence in the state's case against her husband Christopher.

The Port Elizabeth Magistrates Court heard final arguments in the bail hearing for Christopher Panayiotou.

Panayiotou stands accused of hiring two men to murder his wife for the sum of R70,000.

State prosecutor Marius Stander defended his case against Panayiotou by telling magistrate Abigail Beaton that even without state witnesses, his case remains strong.

#Panayiotou Stander says state is not only relying on one witness, there are other witnesses. SS

Stander said the state would be able to prove, through the testimonies of expert witnesses, that the intention was to kill and not rob Jayde on the day she was murdered.

He mentioned that there were other attempts made on Jayde's life before the alleged hit was followed through.

The state also said there is a person who witnessed Panayiotou hand over cash to Siyoli, apparently paying him for the hit.

#Panayiotou State says during course of evening after Jayde's death, call was made from Panayiotou's phone to say money ready for collection

The state went on to argue that proper channels and processes were used during Panayiotou's entrapment, referring to evidence collected by police that implicates the accused in Jayde's murder.

The state referred to stored data on Siyoli's mobile phone which is also in their possession.

ACCUSED WIPED PHONES OF DATA

The court also heard Panayiotou had removed sexually explicit pictures of him and his mistress off their phones a few days after his wife was found murdered.

But he maintains this does not suggest he played a role in Jayde's murder.

During his ongoing bail hearing today, he said he did it because he feared the affair would be exposed.

The motive behind his move to expertly wipe data off his and his mistress's cellphones has been the focus of much deliberation and argument during the drawnout bail hearing in the Port Elizabeth Magistrates Court.

Panayiotou does not deny having deleted the data, but says he did it to protect his privacy.

He says there were naked pictures of him and his girlfriend on the phones.

But the state argues Panayiotou knew he was a suspect in his wife's kidnapping and murder and therefore had the phones wiped.

Meanwhile, the slain teacher's mother and sister were in court for the first time today.

Their eyes were fixed on the accused, but Panayiotou avoided eye contact with them.

BAIL CONDITIONS

#Panayiotou enters courtroom, avoids looking at public gallery where his and wife's family are seated. SS pic.twitter.com/h8q9qKeSog

Stander told the court if Panayiotou is considered a flight risk, then no bail conditions will be appropriate.

The state also is of the opinion that he also can't be area bound because a lack of manpower does not allow for it.

However, Stander further argued that if the court deemed Panayiotou eligible for bail, the accused must be placed under house arrest and report to police twice a day.

THE DEFENCE'S CASE

In starting off his argument, Panayiotou's lawyer Terry Price handed his client's South African identity document, driver's license and Cypriot identity card to investigating officer Kana Swanepoel.

He told the court that even if his client is kept in a single cell, "the prison food will still be the same."

#Panayiotou Defense says in the video footage Panayiotou allegedly tells middleman they were only supposed to rob Jayde, not kill her. SS

The magistrate says there's a lot to consider regarding Panayiotou's bail application and is set to announce her decision on 4 June.