French Serial Killer Charles Sobhraj Leaves Jail In Nepal

Charles Sobhraj
Charles Sobhraj

Charles Sobhraj, a French serial killer who killed young foreigners across Asia in the 1970s, was freed from a Nepali jail on Friday, AFP reported. After being released from jail in Nepal, he’ll be flown to France this evening.

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Gopal Shiwakoti Chintan told reporters that Nepal’s government wants him back as soon as possible. Sobhraj wants it too. So I arranged for him to fly Qatar Airlines at 6 (pm). The French embassy is bringing him his passport.”

The 78-year-old was to be transferred to immigration detention ahead of his deportation to France, police said.

Nepal’s top court ruled Wednesday that the expulsion should happen within 15 days, but his lawyer said on Thursday that health issues might delay it.

He has a heart issue, so he wants to get treatment at Gangalal hospital,” Gopal Shiwakoti Chintan told reporters.

Sobhraj, who had heart surgery in 2017, was released on health grounds after serving more than three-quarters of his sentence for killing two North Americans in Nepal in the 1970s.

According to AFP, the French embassy in Nepal is keeping an eye on things.

As Mr Sobhraj is a French national, France must grant an expulsion request if it’s notified to them.”

The bikini killer

The son of an Indian father and a Vietnamese mother who later married a Frenchman, Sobhraj ended up in Thailand in 1975 after embarking on an international life of crime.

He would befriend his victims, mostly Western backpackers on the hippie trail in the 1970s, before drugging, robbing and killing them.

In 1975, he was implicated in the murder of a young American woman who was found on a beach wearing a bikini.

He was eventually linked to more than 20 murders under the nickname “bikini killer”.

In 1976, he was arrested in India and spent 21 years in jail there, escaping in 1986 after drugging prison guards. Goa, a coastal state in India, recaptured him.

In 1997, Sobhraj was released and lived in Paris, giving paid interviews to journalists.

Journalist Joseph Nathan, one of the founders of the Himalayan Times, spotted him playing baccarat in a casino and arrested him.

Nathan told AFP on Thursday that it was sheer luck that he recognized him. It was karma, I think.”

A Nepalese court sentenced him to life for killing US tourist Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975. He was also convicted of killing Bronzich’s Canadian companion a decade later.

Sobhraj claimed to be innocent of both murders behind bars and that he’d never been to Nepal before the trip that led to his arrest.

“I didn’t do it, and I think I’ll be out,” he told AFP in 2007.

Sompol Suthimai, who worked with Interpol to get him arrested in 1976, wanted him extradited to Thailand so he could be tried.

On Thursday, he told AFP he didn’t mind the release because he and the criminal he once pursued were old.

“I don’t have any feelings for him anymore,” said Suthimai, 90. “I think he’s already paid for his actions.”

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