Christopher Panayiotou found guilty of wife's murder
The Port Elizabeth businessman has been found guilty of masterminding the murder of his wife Jayde Panayiotou in April 2015.
PORT ELIZABETH - Christopher Panayiotou has been convicted of his wife's murder on Thursday, as he also celebrates his 31st birthday.
The Port Elizabeth businessman hired men to kill Jayde Panayiotou in April 2015.
His two co-accused Sinethemba Nenenmbe and Zolani Sibeko have also been found guilty.
The middleman, Luthando Siyoni, had turned state witness and the triggerman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, died of an illness in prison while awaiting trial.
A flustered looking Panayiotou stared blankly ahead as Judge Deyalin Chetty convicted him of his wife's murder.
One of Panayiotou's sisters cried while Chetty read out his judgment.
In it, Chetty is critical of the testimony of Siyoni, who claimed he was forced and tortured into making a confession to help investigators with a sting operation designed to implicate Panayiotou.
The judge also explained why he allowed the secret recording to be submitted as evidence.
He’s found the video established the businessman's complicity in his wife's killing.
WATCH LIVE: Panayioutou murder trial judgment
Nenembe has been found guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances and murder.
Zolani has been convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Panayiotou's family was visibly emotional following the judgment. They sat staring down with their heads bowed as they wiped away tears.
Judge Chetty has found that the State had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.
The matter has been postponed to 17 November for sentencing proceedings.
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)