LAHORE - The Punjab government yesterday filed an appeal against acquittal of suspects in Sahiwal killings case. Additional Prosecutor General Punjab Abdul Samad filed the appeal at Lahore High Court (LHC) on behalf of the prosecution department, questioning the acquittal of the suspects. The prosecution, through the appeal, submitted that the trial court ignored the case facts and acquitted the suspects. The court not only failed to appreciate the video footage but also did not give due importance to forensic evidence, which weakened the case, it added. The prosecution further submitted that the trial court did not hold the case proceedings in-camera, though it was a sensitive matter. The court also failed to provide protection to witnesses.

The prosecution requested for setting aside the trial court verdict. It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the Punjab government to file an appeal against the verdict of the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Sahiwal killings case. On Oct 24, a Lahore ATC acquitted six Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) officials, Safdar Hussain, Ahsan Khan, Ramzan, Saifullah, Husnain and Nasir Nawaz, in the case after giving them benefit of doubt. Khalil, his wife Nabila, their teenage daughter Areeba, and friend Zeeshan Javed were killed after the CTD officials opened fire on their car in Sahiwal on January 19. Jalil had lodged a case against six CTD officials at Yousafwal Police Station.