Kathmandu: French serial killer, famously known as ‘bikini killer,’ Charles Sobhraj released from Nepal jail on Friday.
Who is ‘Bikini Killer’ Charles Sobhraj?
The notorious criminal is suspected of killing more than 20 western backpackers on the “hippie trail” through Asia.
Nepal’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered his release from prison, citing his age. He was expected to be out of jail on Thursday, but pre-release procedures, including a health check-up, caused delays.
Sobhraj has been held in a high-security prison in Nepal since 2003, when he was arrested on charges of murdering American backpacker Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975, and has served 19 years out of a 20-year sentence.
He denied killing the American woman and his lawyers said the charge against him was based on assumption.
Several years later Sobhraj was also found guilty of killing Bronzich’s Canadian friend, Laurent Carriere.
But he was suspected of many more murders, including in Thailand, where police say he allegedly drugged and killed six women in the 1970s, some of whom turned up dead on a beach near the resort of Pattaya.
He was jailed in India for poisoning a group of French tourists in the capital, New Delhi, in 1976, before he could stand trial on the charges against him in Thailand.
“I’m happy and have great respect for our judiciary and Supreme court,” Sobhraj’s mother-in-law Sakuntala Thapa told Reuters partner ANI after news of his release was announced.
Sobhraj married Nihita Biswas, a Nepali national and a woman 44 years his junior, in 2008.