A MAN has appeared in court charged with the murder of Sikh waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar.

Ronnie Coulter, 46, appeared in Hamilton Sheriff Court yesterday.

He made no plea or declaration and was released on bail.

His next court appearance has not yet been set.

Mr Chhokar, 32, was stabbed to death near his home in Overtown, Lanarkshire on November 4 1998.

He had travelled to Scotland from the Indian province of Punjab in the early 1970s with his wife Gurdev Kaur Chhokar and their two young children, Manjit and Surjit.

He found work as a labourer and later opened a shop which he ran until he retired.

Mr Chhokar is now suffering from terminal bowel cancer which has spread to other parts of his body.

In 2001 Mr Chhokar said his family had been destroyed by his son's death.

The family are represented by high profile human right's lawyer Aamer Anwar.