An anti-terrorism court acquitted on Thursday all the suspects in the Sahiwal shooting case. The court said that the suspects have been given the benefit of the doubt.
Khalil, his wife Nabila, their teenage daughter Areeba and friend, Zeeshan Javed, were killed after CTD officials opened fire at their car in Sahiwal on January 19.
The suspects, Safdar, Ahsan, Ramzan, Saifullah, Hasnain and Nasir, have been released now. They were all officers of the CTD. Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta gave the verdict.
The court said that the prosecution didn’t reveal the identity of any of its private witnesses. At least 49 people recorded their statements in the case, of which 24 backtracked on their claims. It noted that the bullet casings recovered from the site of the shooting were sent to the forensic laboratory after a delay.
The evidence submitted by the prosecution has raised many questions, the court said.
On January 22, an investigation team held the CTD responsible for the shooting. In light of the team’s report submitted to the Punjab chief minister, the government had removed the Punjab additional IG and CTD additional IG from their posts.
The report said it seemed like the Sahiwal operation was the result of mismanagement. It said that an unnecessary and irresponsible operation was carried out in haste on a weak intelligence report.
The investigation team’s report stated that no evidence was found suggesting that the CTD team was fired at. It requested more time for a detailed investigation once the forensic reports come back.