Charles Sobhraj, a notorious French serial killer was released from prison in Nepal on Friday, December 23, 2022 after serving most of his sentence for the murders of American and Canadian backpackers.
The country’s Supreme Court had ordered that Sobhraj, who has been serving a life sentence in Nepal, be freed because of poor health, good behavior and having already served most of his sentence.
The court document stated that Sobhraj had already served more than 75% of his sentence, making him eligible for release, and he has heart disease.
Life sentences in Nepal are 20 years. Sobhraj was driven out of Central Jail in Kathmandu in a heavily guarded police convoy to the Department of Immigration, where he will wait for his travel documents to be prepared.
The order also said that Sobhraj had to leave the country within 15 days.
“The court’s order is to send him to his home country within 15 days. We are working to deport him keeping that timeframe in mind. He will remain under the supervision of Nepal’s government until he flies out. We are working with the home ministry on his safety.”Acting Director General of the Nepal immigration department, Pradarshani Kumari
Sobhraj’s attorney, Gopal Siwakoti Chitan, remarked that the request for the travel documents must be made by the immigration department to the French embassy in Nepal, which could take some time.
Offices are closed over the weekend for the Christmas holiday.
The Frenchman has in the past admitted killing several Western tourists and he is believed to have killed at least 20 people in Afghanistan, India, Thailand, Turkey, Nepal, Iran and Hong Kong during the 1970s.
However, his 2004 conviction in Nepal was the first time he was found guilty in court.
Sobhraj was held for two decades in New Delhi’s maximum-security Tihar prison on suspicion of theft but was deported without charge to France in 1997. He resurfaced in September 2003 in Kathmandu.
Sobraj’s Nickname Inspires Award-Nominated TV Series
Sobhraj’s nickname, the Serpent, which originates from his reputation as a disguise and escape artist, inspired the award-nominated TV series “The Serpent.”
The 2021 drama called “The Serpent” is based on the story of Sobhraj’s alleged murders. It recounts how for years, he evaded the law across Asia as he allegedly drugged, robbed and murdered backpackers along the so-called “hippie trail” while former Dutch diplomat, Herman Knippenberg worked with authorities to capture him.
Born in French-administered Saigon, Vietnam, Sobhraj was first jailed in Paris in 1963 for burglary but went on to be accused of committing crimes in a list of countries; France, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Thailand and Malaysia.
He also escaped from prison in several countries. Sobhraj eventually admitted to at least 12 killings between 1972 and 1976. His actual number of victims is unknown.
In 2014, a Nepali court convicted Sobhraj for the 1975 murder of Canadian tourist, Laurent Carrière, handing him a 20-year sentence.
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