Charles Sobhraj: French serial killer ‘The Serpent’ released from Nepali jail

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Charles Sobraj, the notorious French serial killer who inspired the award-nominated TV series ‘The Serpent’, was released from prison in Nepal on Friday.

“Sobraj has been released from prison. , Ishwari Prasad Pandey, an official at Nepal Central Prison, told CNN.

Sobhraj, 78, was serving a life sentence for the murder of two tourists in Nepal in 1975, but many of his murder charges remain unsolved.

He was released Wednesday after Nepal’s Supreme Court ordered his release on the grounds of his age and health. rice field.

Local authorities said they were arranging for Sobraj’s immediate deportation.

“We are working to collect all the necessary travel documents to deport Sobraj to France,” Pradarshani Kumari, deputy secretary general of the Nepal Immigration Service, told CNN. It could take a few days.”

“The court order is to repatriate him to his home country within 15 days. We are working to deport him with that period in mind. He will be under surveillance.We are working with the Ministry of Home Affairs on his safety,” added Kumari.

The ministry is in close contact with the French embassy in Kathmandu, the official said.

Born in French-controlled Saigon, Vietnam, Sobraj was first imprisoned in Paris in 1963 on charges of robbery, but has been imprisoned in France, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Thailand and Malaysia.

He has also escaped from prison in several countries and has a tendency to evade authorities, earning him the nickname “The Serpent”.

According to his biographer, Sobhraj eventually admitted to at least a dozen killings between 1972 and 1976 and hinted at others to interviewers before retracting his confession ahead of further trials. His true victim count is unknown.

In 2014, a court in Nepal convicted Sobraj of the 1975 murder of Canadian tourist Laurent Carriere and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

A 2021 BBC/Netflix drama called ‘The Serpent’ is based on the story of Sobhraj’s alleged murder. It tells how he evaded the law across Asia over the years, allegedly drugging, robbing and murdering backpackers along the so-called “Hippie Trail”. Meanwhile, former Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg worked with authorities to capture him.

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