Lawrence father backs campaign

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The Independent Online
THE FATHER of the murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence has given his backing to a campaign to bring to justice the killers of a Sikh waiter who was stabbed to death in Scotland last year.

Neville Lawrence said, in a letter of support to the Chhokar Family Justice Campaign, that the case bore striking similarities to that of his own son.

Surjit Singh Chhokar, 32, who had two children, was stabbed in Overtown, Strathclyde, last November. A man was acquitted of Mr Chhokar's murder but convicted of assault earlier this month at the High Court in Glasgow. He lodged a special defence, blaming two other men for the killing. Those two men appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court on separate dates in November charged with murder. The charges have not been officially dropped, but the Crown Office is deciding how to proceed.

Stephen's killers have never been brought to justice after he was murdered in London in 1993. Mr Lawrence said: "The inquiry into the police investigation in my son's murder found that it was affected by institutionalised racism. I have no doubt that the treatment this family has received from the police ... is a sharp reflection of that meted out to my family."