KARACHI - The Sindh High Court on Tuesday dismissed a review appeal against the lower courts verdict to acquit the police officials in Mir Murtaza Bhutto murder case on non-prosecution grounds. An SHC division bench comprised Chief Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani and Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh dismissed the appeal owing to the non appearance of the appellants counsel Omer Sial. Petitioner Noor Mohammad, house servant of slain Murtaza, challenged the courts verdict by submitting that the judgment was not announced on merit. He alleged that the police officials, who had been acquitted from the case, were not innocent; rather they were involved in the crime. He claimed that the state had supported the accused to prove them innocent while the court pronounced the verdict due to a lack of solid evidence. Former SSP South Wajid Ali Durrani, ex-DIG Karachi Shoaib Suddle, former director IB Masood Sharif, ex-ASP Saddar Shahid Hayat, ex-ASP Clifton Rai Mohammad Tahir, (SHO) Agha Jamil, Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Abdul Basit, Sub Inspector (SI) Shabbir Qaimkhani, Head Constable (HC) Faisal Hafeez, HC Raja Hameed, and police constables Ghulam Shabbir, Zulfiqar Ahmed, Zakir Mehmood, Zafar Iqbal, Gulzar Khan, Ghulam Mustafa, Muslim Shah and Ahmed and other police personnel were acquitted by the additional district and sessions judge on December 5, 2009 from the charges of killing Mir Murtaza Bhutto and his companions in an alleged shootout. The appellant submitted that the trial court had acquitted all the defendants in an astonishing judgment hence indirectly adjudicating that there was nobody responsible for the eight deaths and four injuries caused by the police on the night of September 20, 1996. In the previous hearing, the appellants counsel questioned the legality of the trial courts judgment, submitting that the judgment was passed through a short oral order on December 5 while the written judgment was issued on December 8, therefore, the impugned judgment was null in the eyes of law as it was announced without it being written or signed by the learned trial court. The court was requested to set aside the judgment as the High Court is empowered and justified to re-examine the evidence and draw its own conclusions. PPP SB chief Mir Murtaza Bhutto, brother of PPP slain chairperson Benazir Bhutto, was killed along with his seven associates, including his close aide Ashiq Jatoi, on September 20, 1996 in an alleged shootout near his residence in Clifton when he was returning from Surjani Town area after attending a party meeting.