Nepal’s top court orders release of serial killer Charles Sobhraj
78-year-old Charles Sobhraj, the infamous French serial killer known as ‘Bikini Killer’ and ‘The Serpent’, was serving a life sentence in Nepal since 2003 for murder. During the years 1972 to 76, Sobhraj used to ensnare tourists from western countries visiting Asia mostly and kill them by feeding them drugs.
Kathmandu: Nepal’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of French serial killer Charles Sobhraj, known as ‘Bikini Killer’ and ‘The Serpent’, on the basis of his health and age.
Son of Indian and Vietnamese parents, Sobhraj is serving life sentence since 2003 for murder.
According to sources in the Supreme Court, a joint bench of Justice Sapna Pradhan Malla and Justice Tilak Prasad Shrestha ruled to release 78-year-old Sobhraj from jail.
The court gave this verdict on the petition of Sobhraj, in which he has claimed that he has spent more time in jail than the period prescribed for him.
During the years 1972 to 76, Sobhraj used to ensnare tourists mostly from western countries coming to Asia and later drugged them and killed them. Of the people he had killed, the bodies of two women were found only in bikinis.
Sobhraj became infamous as ‘Bikini Killer’ and ‘The Serpent’ because of his act of deceiving and tricking people in a vicious manner. The name Serpent was given to him for the skill with which he used to dodge the police.
The Kathmandu Post According to the report, the bench has also asked the Nepal government to make arrangements to send him to his home country France within 15 days. The court concluded that 78-year-old Sobhraj should be set free as he had already completed 95 per cent of his jail term.
In his petition, Sobhraj had claimed that he had completed his jail term in line with the ‘relaxation’ given to senior citizens of Nepal.
“The Prison Management Regulation envisages relaxation of up to 75 per cent in jail term for prisoners above 65 years of age and of good conduct,” the judgment said.
There is a legal provision in Nepal to release those prisoners who have spent 75 percent of their sentence in jail with good conduct during imprisonment.
He claimed that he had already spent 17 years in jail out of the given 20-year sentence and had already been recommended for release on account of good conduct. Sobhraj was caught in August 2003 from a ‘casino’ in Kathmandu.
Notorious criminal Charles Sobhraj was convicted by the Bhaktapur district court for the murder of American national Connie Joe Boronjic (29 years) and his Canadian girlfriend Laurent Carrier (26 years) in 1975. Life sentence in Nepal means 20 years in prison.
According to the report, Sobhraj’s life sentence, arrested on September 19, 2003, was to end on September 18 next year.
Involved in more than 20 murders, Sobhraj has also served a 21-year prison sentence in India for poisoning a French tourist and killing an Israeli citizen.
21 days are not included in the time spent in an Indian jail for 21 years. Then in the year 1986, he escaped after drugging the guards of the high-security Tihar Jail. On the occasion of his birthday party, he mixed this drug in sweets and served it to the guards.
Indian Express But after his recapture, the police in Nepal reopened the investigation into the 1975 murder of American national Connie, who was killed by Sobhraj in Kathmandu. He had approached Koni as a gem dealer. The body of Koni, who was staying in Shobhraj’s hotel, was found lying in a deserted area about 20 km away from the building.
Sobhraj’s name is linked to the murder of many ‘Westerners’ (backpackers). His modus operandi allegedly involved drugging his victims and then killing them. It is estimated that Sobhraj, who was most active between 1972 and 1976, had killed 15 to 20 people during this period.
The gruesome murders and prison escapes committed by Sobhraj have been described in countless documentaries, films and books.
(With inputs from news agency Bhasha)
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