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Home Affairs Correspondent Reevel Alderson
"After a session lasting under an hour the inquiry was packed up"
 real 56k

Monday, 21 May, 2001, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Chhokar family withdraws from inquiry
Chhokar graphic
Surjit Chhokar's family said the inquiry was "utterly discredited"
The family of the murdered Asian man Surjit Chhokar have refused to give evidence to an inquiry into how the police investigated his killing, more than two years ago.

Speaking publicly about his killing for the first time, Mr Chhokar's father said the murder had destroyed his family.

Darsham Chhokar said justice for his son would only be served by an independent public inquiry.

A public session of an inquiry chaired by Dr Raj Jandoo into the Crown Office's treatment of the Chhokar family was told that the family was declining to give evidence and would not answer questions.


I say again: I want an independent public inquiry. I am fed up with you people. In two courtrooms you could not give us justice

Darsham Chhokar
Aamer Anwar, the lawyer acting on behalf of the Chhokar Family Justice Campaign, told Dr Jandoo it was the "end of your inquiry" and made a fresh call for an independent public investigation.

Mr Chhokar, father of the murdered 32-year-old waiter from Overtown, Lanarkshire, said he and his family had been denied justice by the Crown's handling of the case.

No-one was convicted of the murder of Surjit Chhokar in Overtown in November 1998, after the three men charged blamed each other for the killing during two separate trials.

At the hearing in Glasgow on Monday, Mr Chhokar's father addressed Dr Jandoo for 20 minutes in a highly emotional speech in his native Punjabi as his wife, Gurdev, covered her face with her hand.

Utterly discredited

Interpreted by Mr Anwar, he said: "My family asked from the beginning why there was only one man on trial the first time.

"The second time the whole world knows what happened.

"I say again: I want an independent public inquiry. I am fed up with you people. In two courtrooms you could not give us justice."

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Anwar said both Mr Jandoo's inquiry and the probe by Sir Anthony Campbell, Justice of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland, into the decision-making process had been "utterly discredited".

He added: "All that the Chhokar family hope for is that they will secure an inquiry which is held accountable.

"The family will no longer participate in any of these inquiries."

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See also:

06 May 01 | Scotland
'Racism' claim against police force
16 Feb 01 | Scotland
Chhokar family discuss inquiries
08 Feb 01 | Scotland
Chhokar trial pair sent to jail
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