KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Saturday reserved its verdict till Jan 23 in the high-profile Naqeebullah Mehsud killing case.

Former SSP Rao Anwar along with his around two-dozen subordinates has been charged with killing Naqeeb and three others dubbing them as militants linked to banned outfits in a staged encounter on Jan 13, 2018.

On Saturday, the ATC-XVI judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, reserved his verdict after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.

The judge fixed Jan 23 for pronouncement of the long-awaited verdict that has been reserved after concluding the high-profile trial after five years.

During the trial, the court recorded the testimonies of 51 witnesses — including the medico-legal, forensic and ballistics experts, nine private witnesses and police officials produced by the prosecution.

In March 2019, the court had indicted Rao Anwar and his 17 subordinates for killing four men on the outskirts of Karachi within the jurisdiction of the Sachal police station.

In November last year, Rao Anwar had recorded his statement, alleging that he had been framed in the case due to a ‘departmental rivalry’, but had failed to name any officer in the police department.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2023

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