Panayiotou murder trial: Middleman declared hostile witness

Luthando Siyoni has refused to answer any questions relating to his statements & his indemnity from prosecution could be revoked.

FILE: Christopher Panayiotou in the dock at Port Elizabeth High Court during the trial of the murder of his late wife, Jayde Panayiotou. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The defence for Christopher Panayiotou will try to prove the alleged middleman in Jayde Panayiotou’s murder, is being truthful about not being involved in her death.

Luthando Siyoni was declared a hostile witness in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday after refusing to answer questions put to him by the state.

The former bouncer had turned state witness and was testifying against his ex-boss, Christopher Panayiotou, and two others.

Panayiotou is accused of hiring men to kill his wife in April last year.

Siyoni claims the state was trying to discredit him and therefore refused to answer any questions relating to his police statements.

As a result, Siyoni’s indemnity from prosecution could be revoked.

In his police statements, Siyoni claims to have sold drugs for Christopher and that his former boss had asked him whether he knew of a hitman.

The defence has indicated it will try to use the prosecution’s own documents to prove the former bouncer is telling the truth.

Cross examination starts today.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)