Defense Wants to Call Pearl's Widow

Defense attorneys want the widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl to testify in the trial of four Islamic militants accused in his abduction and murder.

Abdul Waheed Katpar, attorney for the chief suspect, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, filed a motion Monday asking Mariane Pearl to give a statement to a special panel in London.

Prosecutors dropped Mrs. Pearl as their witness last week after her attorney said she would be unable to travel to London or Pakistan for medical reasons.

Mrs. Pearl, 38, gave birth to her first child, Adam, on May 28 in Paris, where the French free-lance journalist now lives.

Saeed and the other three defendants have pleaded innocent.

The trial in Hyderabad is adjourned pending a decision from a high court in Karachi on a defense request for copies of a videotape showing Pearl's death. A ruling was expected Tuesday.

The tape was made by Pearl's captors and delivered to U.S. officials in Karachi on Feb. 21. Defense attorneys question its authenticity.

Pearl, the Journal's South Asia bureau chief, disappeared in January from Karachi while researching a story on Pakistani militants.

Saeed and the other three defendants have pleaded innocent. The trial, which began more than a month ago, was moved from Karachi to Hyderabad for security reasons.

Prosecutors feared the outbreak of violence by Islamic militants.