Surjit Singh Chhhokar: Accused fit to stand trial

Indian waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar was killed in 1998. Picture: PA
Indian waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar was killed in 1998. Picture: PA
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A MAN charged with the murder of Indian waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar will be fit to stand trial, it has emerged.

Ronnie Coulter, from Wishaw, faces the allegation that he killed the 32-year-old in Overtown, North Lanarkshire on 4 November 1998. The case against the 46-year-old called yesterday at the High Court in Glasgow. The attendance of Coulter had been excused.

A previous hearing in March was told that it was unknown whether Coulter would be able to face trial.

However, yesterday his QC Donald Findlay said: “It is now clear that he will be fit to stand trial at some point in time.” A date in June had been provisionally set, but Mr Findlay added there was “no prospect” of a trial going ahead then as defence inquiries were ongoing.

This included the examination of 80 hours of CCTV evidence.

No trial date was set yesterday. A further hearing will take place next month when Coulter will again not be present.

The court heard it could be the New Year before a trial begins due to Mr Findlay’s commitments in other cases.

Prosecutors allege Coulter was acting with two other men – Andrew Coulter and David Montgomery – at the time of the alleged attack.