PORT ELIZABETH - The Port Elizabeth High Court has heard claims that German national Jens Leunberg, accused of murdering Thornhill farmer Claus Schroeder, has been trying to influence witnesses.
A section 204 witness testifed on Thursday that he was approached in prison and told not to testify in another murder case involving gang kingpin Wendell Petersen.
The witness told the court that Leunberg approached him while they were both being held at the Humewood Police Station in May earlier this year.
He claimed that he was in the cells when Leunberg made contact with him and told him not to testify in the case against Petersen and four other men, in which three people were shot and killed in a spate of incidents in Gelvandale and Mount Road policing areas in September 2015.
Leunberg allegedly told the Section 204 witness to write a note to Peterson that he would then deliver.
He said the note contained a contact number. Petersen’s co-accused Robin Taylor later allegedly called the Section 204 witnesss to say that Peterson was very happy that he had backtracked on testifying, adding that he was forgiven.
The witness, who cannot be named, told the court that at that stage he decided not to testify in the case, because he was scared and knew the extent to which Petersen would go to hurt him.
In the past, similar claims have emerged with Leunberg seemingly involving himself in other murder cases.
Last year a jailhouse snitch implicated murdered teacher Jayde Panayiotou’s husband, Christopher, in Leunberg’s murder case.
Leunberg and Kristina Adler are accused of defrauding and murdering businessman Claus Schroeder in August 2009. The trial resumed in the Port Elizabeth High Court and is currently underway.
It is alleged that when Schroeder discovered the couple had tried to defraud him through the R8.5 million sale of his Thornhill farm, they killed him and disposed of his body in such a way that it was never found.
Last year, a “snitch”, convicted fraudster Mark Nielson, claimed that Panayiotou, allegedly helped Leunberg as he set out to forge the signature of the man he is accused of killing.
During Panayiotou’s murder trial it emerged that his mistress Chanelle Coutts visited him at prison with the knowledge this was not allowed.
According to testimony Coutts wrote down in the visitation book that she was visiting Leunberg.
African News Agency (ANA)