Four to be charged over US reporter's death


Four key suspects including a Briton being held in connection with the kidnap and murder of US reporter Daniel Pearl are expected to be charged tomorrow.

Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the British-born Islamic militant who police believe masterminded Pearl's abduction, has been in police custody in Pakistan since earlier this month.

At one point he told interrogators that he met with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan after the September 11th attacks in the US, a senior police investigator says.

Saeed also told investigators that his group wanted to teach the United States a lesson and the murder was just a first step, intelligence officials say.

Prosecutors will tomorrow formally charge Saeed and three co-defendants with kidnapping and murder, a senior government official said.

The three others are accused of having sent e-mails announcing Pearl's abduction, including one showing the journalist with a gun pointed to his head.

Police believe a dozen or more people were involved in the abduction and murder of the Wall Street Journalreporter, and that most of them have spent time in Afghanistan as supporters of the Taliban.

The four key suspects were already in police custody when US and Pakistani authorities revealed the contents of a videotape on Friday that showed images of the 38-year-old journalist having his throat slit.