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The Supreme Court of Nepal has ordered the release of Charles Sobhraj, the French serial killer depicted in the Netflix series The Serpent, who committed a series of murders in Asia in the 1970s. The 78-year-old criminal has been in prison in Nepal since 2003 for murder two foreign tourists, will be released on health grounds.
“Keeping him in prison permanently is not in line with the rights of a prisoner”, – stated in the verdict. “If there are no other pending cases against him, the court will order his release by today and return to his country within 15 days”.
“Sobhraj needs open-heart surgery and his release is in line with the law for the release of bedridden prisoners who have already served three-quarters of their time”, – says the verdict.
After a difficult childhood and several prison terms in France for petty crimes, Sobhraj began traveling the world in the early 1970s and ended up in Bangkok. His modus operandi was to charm and befriend his victims before drugging, robbing and killing them. He has been linked to over 20 murders.
His victims were strangled, beaten or burned, the Killer often used the passports of his male victims to get to his next destination.
Sobhraj's nickname “The Serpent” was due to his ability to assume other identities in order to avoid justice. It became the title of a popular BBC and Netflix series based on his life.
The perpetrator was arrested in India in 1976 and spent 21 years in prison there, with a short break in 1986 when he escaped and was again caught in the Indian coastal state of Goa.
Released in 1997, Sobhraj retired to Paris but resurfaced in 2003 in Nepal, where he was spotted in the tourist area of Kathmandu and arrested. The court sentenced him to life in prison for the murder of American tourist Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975. Ten years later, he was also found guilty of killing Bronzich's Canadian companion. In prison in 2008, Sobhraj married the daughter of his Nepali lawyer, who is 44 years younger than him.
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