"Bikini killer" Charles Sobhraj freed from Nepal prison
Kathmandu, December 23, 2022
Charles Sobhraj, 77, who is popularly known as "serpent killer" and "bikini killer", was freed from jail on Friday afternoon as per an order from the Supreme Court of Nepal.
On Wednesday, Nepal's Supreme Court had ordered the release of Sobhraj for different reasons.
A joint bench of Justices Sapana Pradhan Malla and Til Prasad Shrestha, hearing a habeas corpus petition lodged by Sobhraj, had ordered his release if he need not be jailed for another case, and added that arrangements be made to return the French citizen back to his country within 15 days.
He should have been released much earlier but due to political maneuvering, it got delayed, Nihita Biswas, who is known as his fiancee, told reporters in Kathmandu ahead of his release from the central jail.
He should have been released some five years ago but it could not happen, said Biswas, adding that political parties only released their people from the jail, and did not give priority to his early release.
He has spent 19 years and two months in central jail in Kathmandu.
Though the central jail released him on Thursday but due to some internal process including documentation process at Immigration Department, his release was only possible on Friday afternoon, according to the officials.
But Biswas said that if all process will be completed, he will leave for France today.
Though Sobhraj expressed his wish to live for some more days in Nepal after his release, officials at Department of Immigration said it cannot exceed 15 days.
The immigration department will deport Sobhraj to his lawyers and some people who came from France.
Sobhraj has told his lawyers that he will not give any interview to the media while living in Nepal. The conditions of his release is that he will not be allowed to return to Nepal again.
Sbobhraj was wanted in Nepal for the 1975 murders of Canadian Laddie DuParr and an American woman Annabella Tremont, both of whom he befriended in Kathmandu. Later, Nepal Police arrested Sobhraj in September, 2003 from a five star hotel.
In 1996, he made an escape from a prison in New Delhi after it looked likely he would be extradited to Thailand to face charges of murdering six girls, all wearing bikinis, on a beach at Pattaya. He was rearrested from Goa. He was known to have been living quietly in France since his release from prison in India.
Sobhraj pointed in his petition that he has already served 19 years and is 78 years old.
Kathmandu and Bhaktapur district courts had found him guilty in the murder of American and Canadian citizens in 1975.
He was ruled to have murdered American citizen Connie Jo Bronzich in Manohara of Kathmandu and then Canadian national Laurent Carriere two days later in Sanga of Bhaktapur in December 1975.
The Supreme Court in 2010 had endorsed the life sentence slapped on him by the Kathmandu District Court. The Bhaktapur District Court had then sentenced him for the murder of Canadian national in 2014.
Sobhraj repeatedly had filed writ petitions at the Supreme Court, seeking leniency that senior citizens over 70 years get. He had sent such applications, especially around Constitution Day, Democracy Day and Republic Day, hoping for a presidential pardon.