Nepal releases ‘Serpent’ serial killer Charles Sobraj

French serial killer Charles Sobrage, who killed multiple young foreigners across Asia in the 1970s, was due to be released from prison on Friday, prison officials and his lawyer said.

Sobraj, 78, whose life was chronicled in the successful Netflix/BBC series The Serpent, was due to be deported to France within 15 days, according to a Nepalese court ruling.

However, initially after his release, it was expected that he would be taken to Nepal’s immigration office.

“Once he is taken to immigration, the next course will be decided. He has a heart problem and wants to be treated at Gangalal Hospital,” the lawyer said.

“However, what actually happens will be decided after he arrives at the immigration office.”

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Sobraj, who underwent heart surgery in 2017 for the murder of two North Americans in Nepal in the 1970s, was found guilty of health reasons after serving more than three-quarters of his sentence. ordered to be released.

However, his release from a Kathmandu prison was delayed Thursday due to legal and logistical issues.

Mr. Chintan said Mr. Sobraj said, “I don’t mind spending another night in prison.”

A French foreign ministry spokesman told AFP that the French embassy in Nepal was monitoring the situation.

“Since Mr Sobrazi is a French citizen, if they are notified of the request for deportation, France must grant it.”

– Bikini Killer –

Born in Saigon to an Indian father and a Vietnamese mother who later married a Frenchman, Sobraj embarked on a life of international crime and ended up in Thailand in 1975.

Pretending to be a jeweler, he befriended his victims, many of whom were Western backpackers walking the hippie trails of the 1970s.

Classy and sophisticated, he was involved in the first murder in 1975 when the body of a young American woman in a bikini was found on a beach.

Nicknamed the “Bikini Killer”, he was ultimately responsible for more than 20 murders.

He was arrested in India in 1976 and ended up spending 21 years in prison before escaping in 1986 and being recaptured in the Indian coastal state of Goa.

Released in 1997, Sobraj lived in Paris and gave paid interviews to journalists before returning to Nepal in 2003.

He was soon caught playing baccarat at a casino by journalist Joseph Nathan, one of the founders of the daily Himalayan Times, and arrested at the casino.

“He looked harmless…it was sheer luck that I recognized him,” Nathan told AFP on Thursday. “I think it was karma.”

A court in Nepal sentenced him to life in prison the following year for the 1975 murder of American tourist Connie Joe Bronzich.

Behind prison, Sobraj claimed he was innocent of both murders and claimed he had never been to Nepal prior to the trip that led to his arrest.

In a 2007 interview at Kathmandu’s Central Prison, he told AFP: “I didn’t actually do it. I think I’m going out.”

Thai police officer Sompol Sutimai, who worked with Interpol to secure Sobraj’s arrest in 1976, requested extradition to Thailand, where he was tried for the murders he committed.

But on Thursday he told AFP that both he and the criminal he once pursued are now too old to contest their release.

90-year-old Sutimai said: “It’s been a while and I don’t have any feelings for him. I think he has already paid for his actions.”

burs-stu/can Nepal releases ‘Serpent’ serial killer Charles Sobraj

Back to top button