Hope for the Chhokar family
January 12, 2012 by Grace Franklin
Glasgow Region MSP Humza Yousaf raised the case of Surjit Singh Chhokar at First Minister’s Question Time on Thursday 12 January. Mr Chhokar, a 32-year-old father of two, was stabbed to death in Overton, Lanarkshire, in 1998 but no-one has been found guilty and charged with his murder.
Following the recent legislative changes relating to double jeopardy, allowing a retrial of a suspect in very serious crimes, and the conviction of two men for the murder of Stephen Lawrence on the basis of new evidence and more advanced technology, there is a real possibility that justice could be delivered, finally, for Mr Chhokar’s family.
Commenting, Humza Yousaf said: ‘The case of Surjit Singh Chhokar remains unsolved and I urge the Crown Office to revisit it following the changes to the law on double jeopardy. I ask the First Minister to do everything in his power to ensure no stone is left unturned in the search for justice for the Chhokar family. I welcome the First Minister’s response confirming that the Solicitor General is currently reviewing cases which might be prosecuted under the newly established rules on double jeopardy. Rightly, this remains a matter for the Crown Office. He assured me that the prosecution service is committed to the pursuit of those who have avoided detection for murder, and that they will ensure investigations and prosecutions are taken in appropriate cases.
“I sincerely hope the Crown Office will open an investigation into this case when the Solicitor General finishes his review. To those who committed this heinous crime: they should be sleeping uneasy in their bed at night as we are determined to bring them to justice.’