[JURIST] The Sindh provincial High Court in Pakistan has started formal hearings for an appeal by four Islamic militants convicted of kidnapping and murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl [Wikipedia profile]. British-born Islamic militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh [Wikipedia profile] was sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in July 2002. Three co-conspirators were sentenced to life in prison. The four appealed to the High Court in 2002 challenging the verdict. The government has also appealed to the same court seeking an enhancement in the punishment. A formal hearing of the case has not been held because of the absence of lawyers representing the militants. Under Pakistani law, a convict can seek appeals in superior courts; however, no case can be heard if any of the convict's lawyers are absent. Reuters has more.