Charles Sobhraj, French serial killer, to be released from jail after 19 years on health grounds

Charles Sobhraj was arrested in Nepal in 2003 and has served over 19 years at a Kathmandu prison.

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The top court of Nepal has also ordered Charles Sobhraj's deportation within 15 days of his release. (File photo)

The Supreme Court of Nepal has ordered the release of French serial killer Charles Sobhraj, 78, from prison on health and age grounds. Sobhraj, who was charged with using a fake passport to enter Nepal and murdering two backpackers in 1975 — US citizen Connie Jo Boronzich, 29, and his girlfriend Canadian Laurent Carrière, 26.

The court ordered the release of Sobhraj on grounds of his health and age, reported AFP. “Keeping him in the prison continuously is not in line with the prisoner’s human rights,” AFP reported, citing the verdict.

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“If there are not any other pending cases against him to keep him in the prison, this court orders his release by today and… the return to his country within 15 days,” the court said.

Sobhraj, a French national born to an Indian father and a Vietnamese mother in Vietnam’s Saigon is man of Indian and Vietnamese parentage, was arrested in after being clicked outside a casino in Nepal on September 1, 2003.

Following his arrest, two separate cases were filed against him for the couple’s murder in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.

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Sobhraj had been serving a 21-year sentence in Kathmandu’s Central Jail. While he was sentenced to 20 years for murdering a US citizen, a one-year sentence was awarded to him for using a fake passport.

The top court of Nepal has also ordered his deportation within 15 days of his release.

(With agency inputs)

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First published on: 21-12-2022 at 19:49 IST