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Le Serpent: notorious French serial killer freed from prison in Nepal

French serial killer Charles Sobhraj was released from prison in Nepal on Friday after serving most of his sentence for the murders of Western backpackers.

Sobhraj was driven from Kathmandu Central Jail in a heavily guarded police convoy to the immigration department, where he will wait for his travel documents to be prepared. The order also stipulated that he must leave the country within 15 days.

The country’s Supreme Court has ordered the release of Sobhraj, who was sentenced to life in prison in Nepal, due to poor health, good behavior and the fact that he has already served most of his sentence .

Life sentences in Nepal are 20 years behind bars, of which Sobhraj served 18.

Sobhraj’s lawyer, Gopal Siwakoti Chitan, told reporters that the application for travel documents must be made by Nepal’s immigration department at the French embassy in the country, which may take some time. .

The offices are closed on weekends for the Christmas holidays.

The court document says he has already served more than 75% of his sentence, while Sobhraj suffers from a heart condition that requires treatment in France.

The Frenchman has in the past admitted to killing 10 Western tourists – a confession he later withdrew – while he allegedly killed at least 20 people in Afghanistan, India, Thailand, Turkey, Nepal, Iran and in Hong Kong in the 1970s.

Sobhraj posed as a high-flying gem smuggler or drug dealer to impress and befriend tourists, often inviting them to lavish parties or having them join his entourage before scamming them and, in some cases, to kill them.

Sobhraj was held for two decades in the maximum security Tihar prison in New Delhi on suspicion of theft, but was deported without charge to France in 1997. He resurfaced in September 2003 in Kathmandu.

His 2004 sentencing in Nepal was the first time he had been found guilty in court.

His nickname, The Serpent, stems from his reputation as an artist of disguise and escape. In 2021, Netflix and BBC One released a critically acclaimed series with the same title, covering some of Sobhraj’s crimes.

euronews Gt

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