WE have supported the Chhokar Family Justice Campaign since its inception. The Chhokar family's courageous pursuit of justice, following the failure to convict anyone for Surjit's murder, has been an inspiration, not just to us but to many thousands. Although we had no faith that the two private inquiries, into the treatment of the family and the Crown Office's decision-making process, would deliver justice to the family, we had hoped that they might have provided some measure of accountability.

But stories in the Daily Telegraph (October 20) and several Sunday newspapers discussing the content of the two reports, prior to their official publication, have undermined these hopes and raised profound concerns.

First, the leaking from these reports to the press simply confirms the family's criticism of insensitive treatment by the Crown Office over three years. The Chhokar family were given an assurance that they would be consulted on the contents prior to their public release (just as Neville and Doreen Lawrence had been in advance of the MacPherson Report). It is disgraceful that the family's wishes appear to have come last. Journalists have been given more respect than Surjit's parents, the Scottish Parliament, the police, or the public.

Secondly, we are distressed that the leaks attempt to smear Surjit's father, Darshan Chhokar. It is beneath contempt to suggest that Mr Chhokar has been an unreliable witness, who deliberately plays down his command of the English language. Had it not been for the determination and honesty of the Chhokar family, there would have been no campaign, no second trial, and no inquiries. We condemn these attacks on the Chhokar family, which may succeed in diverting attention from the failures of the Crown Office.

Thirdly, if, as reported, the Jandoo document attacks Aamer Anwar, the campaign's lawyer, then the report is guilty of blatant fabrication. To suggest that Aamer Anwar has been a dishonest interpreter, distorting the Chhokars' words, is a disgraceful lie. Between November 1998 and August 2000 the Crown Office did not offer the Chhokars an interpreter. Much of the time Aamer translated for the family it was in the presence of Manjit, the Chhokars' daughter, who is fluent in both English and Punjabi. Any discrepancy would have been detected by her, or by other Punjabi speakers who were often present. To suggest that Mr Chhokar is capable of being manipulated by anyone is a ludicrous suggestion, as anyone who knows the man will testify, and is patronising and deeply offensive. In our experience, Aamer's conduct over more than two years has been beyond reproach.

He has represented the family with intelligence, perseverance, and courage, working throughout for free. Instead of attacking Aamer Anwar and the Chhokar family, the Jandoo report should be congratulating them for their contribution to the cause of justice.

From the outset the family insisted on an independent public inquiry, a demand supported by the STUC, several national trade unions, the SNP, the Conservative Party, a number of Labour MPs, and the SSP, as well as the Commission for Racial Equality. On the basis of the leaks, it would appear that the family's demand for an independent inquiry has been fully justified. Once again we add our voices to that demand.

Phil Taylor, Chhokar Family Justice Campaign; Bill Speirs, general secretary, STUC; STUC Black Workers Committee; Suresh Grover, chair, National Civil Rights Movement; Milena Byum, National Assembly Against Racism; Robina Qureshi, director, Positive Action in Housing; Tesfu Gessessee, Black Community Development Project; Shona Robison, MSP; John McAllion, MSP; Fiona Hyslop, MSP; George Galloway, MP; Tommy Sheridan, MSP; Fire Brigades Union, Scotland; Mohammad Naveen Asif, Glasgow Refugee Action Group; Bill Scott, Lothian Anti-Poverty Alliance.