PORT ELIZABETH – The legal team for murder accused Christopher Panayiotou says it will fight the state’s claim that he is a flight risk.
Panayiotou’s bail application will resume in the Port Elizabeth magistrates court on Tuesday.
The businessman allegedly orchestrated the murder of his wife Jayde in May.
Jayde’s body was found dumped in an isolated area of a Uitenhage township days after she was reported missing.
Panayiotou’s lawyer Terry Price says the court has been misled by the state’s claim that his client is in possession of a Cypriot passport.
In opposing bail, state prosecutor Marius Stander last week read out affidavits by the investigating officer as well as a document from the Cypriot government.
In these documents, it is alleged Panayiotou obtained the passport a few weeks before his wife’s kidnapping and killing.
But Price says the defence will prove the businessman doesn’t have a foreign passport when Panayiotou’s bail hearing continues tomorrow.
STATE SEEKING LIFE SENTENCE
The prosecution believes he ordered her murder because he deemed her a financial burden.
This emerged during Panayiotou’s bail hearing last Thursday.
Panayiotou admitted he had an intermittent sexual relationship with Chanelle Coutts, an employee at his OK Grocer, and acknowledged he bought her gifts from time to time.
He maintained the affair had no impact on his marriage.
This was in stark contrast to the state’s version that he carefully crafted out a plan to have Jayde abducted and killed.
Stander told the court the state would be seeking a life sentence.
Stander read out investigating officer Kanna Swanepoel’s report, which revealed startling details relating to the events which led to Jayde’s murder.
Swanepoel claimed Panayiotou paid R70,000 to two men who carried out the hit.
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)