An Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) on has handed down death sentence for eight times to the killers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Masood Bhatti and his guards.

The verdict was pronounced today and seven accused have been awarded death sentence while three other acquitted in the case.

Those awarded death sentence for eight times include Rasheed, Riaz, Abdul Majeed, Sadiq, Mashooq and Arshad.

PTI leader Masood Ahmad Bhatti along with his three guards and a friend was shot dead near Mustafabad toll plaza on the Lahore-Kasur Road in 2014.

According to police, Masood Bhatti, who was a candidate for the MPA slot on the PTI platform for PP-175, along with Zia Ahmad (friend), Khalid, Babar and Shabbir (security guards), were going to Lahore from Kasur in his car. When they reached near the toll plaza situated near Mustafabad, some gunmen ambushed the car, leaving Masood and three of his guards dead on the spot. Zia got serious injuries and died on the way to Lahore.

Mustafabad police had registered Bhatt’s murder FIR against 16 accused also invoking Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

According to the FIR, 16 accused had intercepted Masood Bhatti’s car and opened fire on it, leaving him and four others, including Yaqoob, Babar, Khalid and Zia, dead.