Charles Sobhraj, murderer known as the Serpent, to be released from prison


Charles Sobhraj, the 78-year-old French man convicted of killing backpackers on the Asian hippie trail in the 1970s, is to be released from prison in Nepal after serving 19 years. murder, the country’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

Sobhraj is about to complete a 20-year sentence in Nepal, where he was convicted of the 1975 murders of American tourist Connie Jo Bronzich and fellow Canadian Laurent Carriere.

The convicted murderer, who some call “The Snake” has repeatedly eluded police and used disguises, accused of more than a dozen murders, but was convicted of two in Nepal.

Judges ordered Sobhraj’s release within a few days because of his old age, his good character, and the length of time he spent in prison, according to a ruling by Nepal’s Supreme Court. The judges said the convicted murderer also had a heart condition that was expected to require open heart surgery.

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“His continued detention is against the principles of prisoners’ rights,” the court ruled, adding: “If there is no need for him to be detained in any other case, he will be He was released from prison today and arrangements have been made to send him. he returns to his country within fifteen days.”

Lokbhakta Rana, Sobhraj’s lawyer, told The Washington Post Thursday that he praised the judges for their “strong decision” to order his immediate release.

“Actually, I didn’t expect it. But this is the right decision,” Rana added. “No one wants to release him.”

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“He was convicted according to the law, he was imprisoned according to the law, and he was released according to the law.”

Rana said he hoped his client would be released from prison in Nepal within two weeks and returned to France, where his lawyer said he has citizenship rights.

Sobhraj spent 21 years in prison in India from 1976 when he was convicted of robbery. Following an escape attempt in 1986, just as his first sentence was due to expire, Sobhraj was captured and returned to prison where he faced a lengthy sentence.

According to the Associated Press that year, Sobhraj was wanted and extradited to Nepal, Singapore, Greece, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Turkey and Iran for crimes ranging from car theft to drug trafficking. , kidnapping and killing young couples. have made friends.

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The extension of Sobhraj’s trial due to his escape attempt appeared at the time of his release in 1997 from prison, the bail request from Thailand, where he is wanted for 14 murders and faces the death penalty, has expired because of 20 years. limit, the AP report said at the time.

For unclear reasons, Sobhraj returned to Nepal, where the police wanted him for murder. In 2003, a reporter from The Himalayan Times found him in a Kathmandu casino, arrested him and sentenced him to 20 years. years in prison.

His life has been the subject of several films – including “The Serpent,” a multipart 2021 film from Netflix and the BBC.


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