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Serial killer Charles Sobhraj released from Nepal prison


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Serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who was sentenced in a string of murders across Asia in the 1970s and 1980s, is set to be released from a Nepal prison on Friday after spending nearly 20 years behind bars, prison officials said.

Nicknamed the “Bikini Killer” in Thailand, and “The Snake” for evading police and using a disguise, he is French, suspected of killing more than 20 Western backpackers on his “hippie trail” through Asia. .

His notoriety and exploits have been the subject of several dramas, including a Netflix and BBC co-production released last year.

Nepal’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered his release from prison, and he was expected to be released from prison on Thursday, but pre-release procedures, including a medical examination, caused a delay, according to Ishwari Prasad Pandey, a warden at the central jail. In Kathmandu by Reuters late on Thursday.

Sobhraj has been held in a maximum security prison in Nepal since 2003, when he was arrested for the murder of American backpacker Connie Joe Brunsich in 1975 and has served 19 of his 20-year sentence.

“I am happy and have a lot of respect for our judiciary and our Supreme Court,” Sobhraj’s mother-in-law, Sakuntala Thapa, told Reuters partner after the news of his release was announced.

Sobhraj married Nehita Biswas, a Nepalese national and woman 44 years his junior, in 2008.

He denied killing the American woman and his lawyers said the charge against him was based on assumption.

Several years later, Sobhraj was also convicted of the murder of Brunsich’s Canadian friend, Laurent Carrier.

But he is suspected of numerous murders, including in Thailand, where police say he drugged and killed six women in the 1970s, some of whom died on a beach near the resort town of Pattaya.

He was imprisoned in India on charges of poisoning a group of French tourists in the capital, New Delhi, in 1976, before he was tried for the charges against him in Thailand.

Sobhraj escaped from Tihar prison in India in 1986 after drugging prison guards with cookies and cake mixed with sleeping pills.

Police arrested Sobhraj days later on an Indian beach holiday in Goa state.

“I went up to their table and said ‘You are Charles’,” Madhukar Zindi, the police officer who arrested him in Goa, told the Indian Express in an interview published on Friday.

The statue of Sobhraj, with his signature hat, stands in the restaurant in Goa to this day. He was imprisoned in India until 1997, when he was returned to France.

His colleagues described him as a con artist, seducer, thief and murderer.

The true number of his victims is unknown.

“The prison authorities will hand him over to the immigration department today,” Sobraj’s lawyer, Gopal Shivakoti Chintan, told Reuters on Friday.

After that, the necessary procedures will be completed by immigration officials to return him to his country.”

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