LAHORE - The Punjab government yesterday challenged the acquittal of Mustafa Kanju, son of ex-state minister Siddique Kanju, in Zain murder case.

The Punjab Prosecution Department told the Lahore High Court that the trial court accepted acquittal application of the suspect “premature as there were many witnesses to be testified”.

The government stated that besides the witnesses, evidence collected from the crime scene was enough to prove the murder charge. “Empties collected from the scene were matched with the Kalashnikov recovered from the suspect,” it added.

The appeal stated that the trial court relied upon the retracted statements of the witnesses only and ignored facts of the case. The prosecution appealed to the court to set aside the order.

An anti terrorism court had acquitted Mustafa Kanju and his guards last month of the charges of killing a 16-year-old boy Zain and injuring another Hasnain after complainant and witnesses presented by the prosecution turned-hostile.

Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali had taken suo motu notice of the acquittal order and summoned whole record of the case. Proceedings of notice are pending adjudication before three-judge bench.