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Serial killer Charles Sobhray to be released from Nepalese prison

Serial killer Charles Sobhray to be released from Nepalese prison

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Charles Sobhray should be released for health reasons. (file)

Kathmandu:

Nepal’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of Charles Sobhrai, the French serial killer portrayed in the Netflix series “The Serpent” who was responsible for a series of murders in Asia in the 1970s.

The Supreme Court ordered that Sobhray, 78, who has been jailed in the Himalayan republic since 2003 for killing two North American tourists, be released on health grounds.

“His prolonged detention in prison is inconsistent with the prisoner’s human rights,” read a copy of the judgment seen by AFP.

“If there are no other pending cases against him to detain him in prison, this court orders his release by today and… his return to his country within 15 days.

After a troubled childhood and several prison terms in France for petty crimes, Sobhray began traveling the world in the early 1970s and ended up in the Thai capital of Bangkok.

His modus operandi was to charm and befriend his victims – many of them star-crossed Western backpackers in search of spirituality – before drugging, robbing and killing them.

Smart and sophisticated, he was involved in his first murder, that of a young American woman whose body was found on a beach in Pattaya wearing a bikini in 1975.

He was eventually linked to more than 20 murders. His victims were strangled, beaten or burned, and he often used the passports of his male victims to travel to his next destination.

Sobhraj’s nickname, “The Serpent”, comes from his ability to assume other identities to avoid justice. It became the title of a hit series made by the BBC and Netflix based on his life.

He was arrested in India in 1976 after a French tourist died of poisoning in a Delhi hotel, and was sentenced to 12 years for murder.

Sobhray eventually spent 21 years in prison, with a brief break in 1986 when he escaped and was recaptured in the Indian coastal state of Goa.

Released in 1997, Sobhraj retreated to Paris, but resurfaced in 2003 in Nepal, where he was spotted in the tourist area of ​​Kathmandu and arrested.

A court there sentenced him to life in prison the following year for the murder of American tourist Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975. A decade later, he was also found guilty of murdering Bronzich’s Canadian companion.

In prison in 2008, Sobhraj married Nihita Biswas, who is 44 years his junior and the daughter of his Nepali lawyer.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a syndicated channel.)


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