Jury Considering Verdict In Waiter Murder Trial

Jurors in the trial of a man accused of murdering waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar almost 18 years ago have retired to consider their verdict.

Ronnie Coulter, 48, is accused of killing Surjit Singh Chhokar in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, on November 4 1998 and has been on trial at the High Court in Glasgow for the past four weeks.

The court has heard Coulter was on trial for the second time after previously being acquitted of the murder in 1999.

He denies the charge and the jury are now starting their deliberations after judge Lord Matthews finished giving them his legal directions on Monday.

The judge told the 14 jurors they could return verdicts of guilty, not guilty or not proven - the latter two being verdicts of acquittal.

He said they were under no pressure and could take as long as they needed to reach their verdicts.

After speaking for about half an hour, the judge told the 14-strong panel: ''I now ask you to retire and consider your verdict.''

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