THE Lord Advocate and police need to go on the "front foot" and appeal for fresh witnesses to the murder of waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar more than 13 years ago, it has been claimed.

Pressure is mounting on the Crown Office to reopen the case following the prosecution of those who murdered Stephen Lawrence and the introduction of new double jeopardy laws in Scotland which allow an accused to be tried for the same crime twice.

Mr Chhokar, 32, was killed outside his home in Overtown, North Lanarkshire, in 1998. Three local men were tried for his murder in two separate trials but not one was found guilty of the offence.

Graeme Pearson MSP – who was assistant chief constable with Strathclyde Police at the time – and Paul McBride, QC, defence counsel in the second murder trial, are among those who have supported a review of the case.

Solicitor Aamer Anwar, who has long campaigned for justice on behalf of Mr Chhokar's family, said the Lord Advocate and Strathclyde Police should not miss "the window of opportunity" and make a public appeal for witnesses to come forward.

He said: "The Lord Advocate needs to take the front foot. He should be saying, as in the case of Stephen Lawrence, that we want people to come forward with information.

"I appreciate it is a question of efficiency of evidence but the window of opportunity should not be missed.

"Strathclyde Police also need to go on the front foot, make an appeal and be working hand in hand with the family, and say that those responsible shouldn't rest easy in their beds."

The Crown Office said it was too early to speculate how any particular case will be dealt with as a result of the new Double Jeopardy Act.