originally by: The Independent
published: 26th January 2012
A police force has been told to reopen the investigation into the murder of an Asian man more than 13 years ago. The family of Surjit Singh Chhokar met with Scotland’s top law officer today who confirmed Strathclyde Police have been instructed to carry out further investigations into his murder under double jeopardy legislation.
Mr Chhokar was stabbed to death outside the home he shared with his girlfriend in Overtown, Lanarkshire, on November 4 1998. The murder, which has been dubbed “Scotland’s Stephen Lawrence”, sparked controversy after the failure of authorities to secure a conviction for his killing despite the arrests of three men and two subsequent trials.
Today, the waiter’s family met Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland and the Solicitor General Lesley Thomson to ask for a reopening of the case.
Reform of Scotland’s centuries-old double jeopardy law, which came into force at the end of last year, means the men originally accused of the murder could face a retrial.
Speaking after the meeting at the Crown Office in Edinburgh, the family’s solicitor said there are “significant hurdles to cross”.
Aamer Anwar, speaking on behalf of the Chhokar family, said: “Thirteen years ago as Surjit’s family began their struggle for justice, every step required their sacrifice and suffering.