Mr. Pratt to Mr. Blaine.

No. 469.]

Sir: I have the honor herewith respectfully to submit for your consideration a copy of the latest communication 1 have received from Consul-General Stewart relative to the Wright murder case, as also a copy of my reply to the same, which I trust you will approve.

From what he now writes, you will observe that Colonel Stewart’s views and my own are identical as to the interpretation of the law of Islam in regard to the killing of a child “in utero,” and that he therefore intends, in accordance with my previous instructions, to advance and press the charge of double criminality against the accused in the present instance.

I have, etc.,

E. Spencer Pratt.
[Page 673]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 469.]

Colonel Stewart to Mr. Pratt.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt this day of Your Excellency’s dispatch No. 2, dated 14th June, 1890.

I have already summoned the woman Asli to appear as a witness, but I fear she will, at the trial, deny her previous statement, as I hear she has told Dr. Cochran she will give no evidence in the matter.

Mr. Mechlin has just arrived, also Theodore, the late Mrs. Wright’s brother, and a man who saw Minas running away from Mr. Wright’s house on the afternoon of the 14th May, just after the murder, with a dagger in his hand. The other witnesses are en route.

I have summoned Dr. Shedd, to whom Minas confessed the murder of Mrs. Wright and asked him to pray for his soul, so I shall have ample evidence.

With reference, to the last part of your letter under reply, I am aware that, according to Mohammedan law, the causing the death of a child of a pregnant woman is murder, and this child, having been a son in a well-formed state, I shall, as directed in your letter, press home this charge, and have full evidence to prove it. I had, however, intended to do this previous to the receipt of your letter.

I have, etc.,

C. E. Stewart,
Colonel, Her Majesty’s Consul-General, Tabreez.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 469.]

Mr. Pratt to Colonel Stewart.

Sir: I have received your dispatch of the 21st instant acknowledging the receipt of my own of the 14th and informing me that you had summoned Dr. Shedd and Asli, the alleged paramour of the assassin Minas, to testify at the latter’s trial.

I am also glad to note the arrival at Tabreez of Mr. Mechlin, Mr. Theodore, and a man said to have seen Minas escape from Mr. Wright’s house on the afternoon of the 14th of May, the day the murder was committed.

These, with the witnesses already subpoenaed, will, I trust, amply suffice to establish the prisoner’s guilt, even though, as you appear to apprehend, the woman Asli should deny her previous statements or decline to give any evidence whatever at the trial.

In closing, I beg to say that I am gratified to observe that your interpretation of the Mohammedan law on the subject of the killing of a child “in utero” is the same as my own, and that you propose to firmly press this additional charge of murder in the present instance.

I am, etc.,

E. Spencer Pratt.