Application for discharge of two of accused in Panayiotou murder trial

A lawyer for two of the men accused of conspiring to kill Jayde Panayiotou believes there is not enough evidence before court to convict his clients beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sinethemba Nemembe and Zolani Sibeko were linked to the Uitenhage teacher’s kidnapping and murder through cellphone evidence – something defence attorney Peter Daubermann says is not reliable enough to see the men possibly sent to prison for life.

On Thursday morning‚ Daubermann brought an application in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act for Nemembe and Sibeko’s early discharge due to a weak state case.

He told Judge Dayalin Chetty that his clients’ names were barely mentioned in the marathon trial and that he had spent most of his time “sitting here twiddling my thumbs”.

It is alleged that Christopher Panayiotou‚ 30‚ used a middleman to hire Nemembe and the now deceased Sizwezakhe Vumazonke to kidnap and kill his wife on April 29 2015.

Sibeko was charged as a co-conspirator.

But‚ Daubermann told the Port Elizabeth High Court‚ there was no credible evidence on record to prove this theory beyond a reasonable doubt.

State advocate Marius Stander said he would oppose the application for discharge.

He will reply to Daubermann’s submissions on Friday‚ before Judge Chetty makes a ruling.

The state closed its case on Tuesday‚ handing over the reins to Panayiotou’s defence Advocate Terry Price SC. - HeraldLIVE

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