PORT ELIZABETH – The prosecution in the case against alleged wife killer Christopher Panayiotou has confirmed the alleged middleman will turn state witness.
It’s alleged Luthando Siyoli, a bouncer at a pub owned by Panayiotou, had already helped police trick the Port Elizabeth businessman into implicating himself before his arrest.
Panayiotou is accused of paying two men R70,000 to murder his 29-year-old wife Jayde last month.
Prosecutor Marius Stander has confirmed the state has entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with Siyoli.
State prosecutor Marius Stander presents his argument during a court appearance of Chris Panayiotou, who’s accused of masterminding the killing of his wife, Jayde on 20 May 2015. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN
Panayiotou is alleged to have paid Siyoli R30,000 to find a hitman to kill his wife.
The alleged triggerman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, was allegedly paid R40,000.
Sizwezakhe Vumazonke appears before the Port Elizabeth Magistrates Court for his role in the murder of Jayde Panayiotou. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN
Vumazonke and Panayiotou were arrested after police interrogated Siyoli.
All three men are expected to appear in the dock on 19 of June, but Panayiotou is currently applying for bail.
PANYIOTOU ADMITS WIPING DATA OFF CELLPHONES
During his bail application hearing on Tuesday, Panayiotou admitted to having wiped data off his and his mistress’s cellphones.
But the Port Elizabeth businessman denies the state’s allegation that he defeated the ends of justice by doing so.
The phones were confiscated by police a few days after Jayde’s body was found outside a Uitenhage township.
The state is said to have sought help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but no data could be retrieved from the phones.
Panayiotou said he wiped the phones only to protect his privacy.
The prosecution and the defence are arguing deliberating when the accused obtained a Cypriot passport.
The defence argues the court has been misled to believe the passport was obtained this year, since it was applied for in 2013.
(Edited by Gadeeja Abbas)