Chhokar case must be re-examined, says former top policeman
Advances in forensic science could reinvigorate the inquiry into the death of Surjit Singh Chhokar who was stabbed to death by a white gang.
Just as improvements in forensics techniques helped prove Gary Dobson and David Norris murdered Stephen Lawrence, so there is hope that 'Cold Case' reanalysis can help pinpoint Mr Chhokar's killers.
Graeme Pearson, who was Assistant Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police at the time of the killing and is now a Member of the Scottish Parliament, said it was time case was re-opened by the Crown Service, the Scottish prosecuting authority.
"The Chhokar case was always unfinished business and was a case that was left with an unsatisfactory outcome," he said. In the Lawrence case, new evidence was deduced as a result of DNA analysis – so one would assume that there would be a cold case review in the Chhokar inquiry and if the criteria for prosecuting again are agreed and delivered, it would be an ideal case for a retrial."
Three men stood trial for Mr Chhokar's 1998 murder in Lanarkshire. Ronnie Coulter was tried first but was acquited of murder after blaming his nephew Andrew Coulter and David Montgomery. Two years later Andrew Coulter and Mr Mongomery went on trial but they blamed Ronnie Coulter and were acquitted.
At the end of last year, the double jeopardy law was repealed in Scotland and the Crown Office has now said is looking at cases suitable for retrial under the new laws but that no decision has yet been taken.
A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said it was up to the Crown Service to instruct them on reopening investigations. Mr Chhokar's family want the case reopened and their lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said earlier this week: "If there is even a shred of evidence there, they are willing to take the chance and they don't understand why the prosecutors are not."
He added: "There has been a denial of justice. Not once, but twice. Why does no one want to do anything about his murder anymore?"
In the wake of the convictions in the Lawrence case, The Independent called for police and prosecutors to deliver justice to the families of four victims of other notorious racist attacks.
Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Any terrorist seizure of the plane ‘would have required one hell of a piece of planning’
Croatia's second city to close 'worst zoo in the world' after reports of 'nightmare' conditions and 'depressed' animals
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Hijackers, pirates or suicide – the theories surrounding the mystery
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
- 3 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hijacking’ began soon after take-off
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers