Glasgow & West Scotland

Law chief to meet Chhokar family

Surjit Singh Chhokar
Image caption The lord advocate said the Chhokar family had been failed by police and prosecution

Scotland's top prosecutor is to meet the family of an Asian man murdered more than 13 years ago.

Waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar was stabbed to death in Overtown, North Lanarkshire, in November 1998.

The case sparked controversy after prosecutors failed to secure a conviction and subsequent reports made allegations of "institutional racism".

Mr Chhokar's family are to meet Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland to seek a fresh investigation over the murder.

No-one has been convicted of Mr Chhokar's murder, despite the arrests of three men and two subsequent trials.

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.

Two official inquiries ordered in the wake of the original prosecutions talked of "institutional racism".

The then lord advocate, Colin Boyd, said the Chhokar family had been failed by the police and prosecution services.

It has been compared to the Stephen Lawrence case in London, which last week resulted in two convictions 18 years after the teenager's murder.

The Crown Office has now said Mr Mulholland and Solicitor General Lesley Thomson will meet the family.

A spokesman said: "The lord advocate has spoken with Aamer Anwar, the family's solicitor, and confirmed that the lord advocate and the solicitor general would be pleased to meet with the family.

"Arrangements are now being put in place."

The Crown Office said it was too early to speculate how any particular case might be dealt with under the reformed double jeopardy law.

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