LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Tuesday dismissed appeals challenging death sentences, awarded by the military courts to seven persons in targeted killing cases. The bench, headed by Justice Abdul Sami Khan, heard the appeals, filed by relatives of the convicts including Laila Bibi, challenging their death sentences. Earlier, Ali Zia Bajwa, counsel for applicants submitted that the military courts had convicted Sabir Shah, Salman Pathan, Sheikh Farman, Abdul Rauf, Shafaqat Farooqi, Hasham and another suspect for their alleged involvement in targeted killings. He said that the convicts’ trials were in progress before the anti-terrorism courts (ATCs) when they were handed over to the military authorities from Kot Lakhpat Jail. He said neither the convicts were allowed to meet their families nor given a chance to engage counsel to defend them before the military courts. He said that even habeas corpus petitions challenging detention of the convicts were pending before the high court when they were secretly shifted from jail. He added that the families of the convicts had come to know about the military courts’ decision through an Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) press release. He contended that the “convicts were not granted right to fair trial by the military courts”. He said that no accused could be convicted without providing an opportunity of fair trial, as per article 10 (A) of the constitution. He requested the court to set aside the convictions and refer the cases to the ATCs. However, the deputy attorney general opposed the request saying that the convicts were involved in targeted killings and were found guilty during investigation. He said that after fulfilling legal requirements, the cases were transferred to military courts, which awarded them sentence after providing them with an opportunity to defend. The bench, after hearing detailed arguments, dismissed the appeals.