Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

'Serpent' Sobhraj headed back to France

'Serpent' Sobhraj headed back to France

French serial killer Charles Sobhraj, responsible for multiple murders in the 1970s in Thailand and across Asia, was heading to France on Friday after being freed following almost 20 years in a Nepali prison.
After leaving Kathmandu Central Jail, the 78-year-old was taken to Kathmandu airport where he boarded a flight to Paris. He was due to arrive on Saturday morning via Doha.

“I feel great. … I have a lot to do. I have to sue a lot of people. Including the state of Nepal,” Sobhraj told AFP on board a plane for his deportation.

Asked if he thought he had been wrongly described as a serial killer, the 78-year-old said: “Yes, yes.”

He maintains he was innocent of the two murders in Nepal for which he served almost 20 years for in prison.

“When I came in (went to prison), I didn’t do anything,” he said.

“I am innocent in those cases, okay? So I don’t have to feel bad for that, or good. I am innocent. It was built on fake documents.”

He added: “The district judge, without calling a single witness … and without giving notice (to) the accused to present an argument, he wrote the verdict.”

Sobhraj, whose life was chronicled in the Netflix series The Serpent, was earlier driven out of the prison in a blue police vehicle through a scrum of reporters.

Wearing a medical face mask, brown woolly hat and blue puffer coat, and ringed by police in bulletproof jackets, he made no comment to journalists as he left.

Nepal’s top court ruled on Wednesday that he should be deported within 15 days and his lawyer said a ticket had been booked for him.

“Nepal’s government wants to send him back as soon as possible. Sobhraj also wants that. So I arranged for him the ticket of Qatar (Airways) at 6pm. The French embassy is bringing him his travel documents,” his lawyer Gopal Shiwakoti Chintan told reporters.

The court ordered that Sobhraj, who had heart surgery in 2017, should be released on health grounds after serving more than three-quarters of his sentence for murdering a US tourist and a Canadian in Nepal in the 1970s.

‘Bikini killer’

Born in Saigon to an Indian father and a Vietnamese mother who later married a Frenchman, Sobhraj embarked on an international life of crime and ended up in Thailand in 1975.

Posing as a gem trader, he would befriend his victims, many of them Western backpackers on the 1970s hippie trail, before drugging, robbing and murdering them.

Suave and sophisticated, he was implicated in his first murder, a young American woman whose body was found on a beach wearing a bikini, in 1975.

Nicknamed the “bikini killer”, he was eventually linked to more than 20 murders.

He was arrested in India in 1976 and ultimately spent 21 years in jail there, with a brief break in 1986 when he drugged prison guards and escaped. He was recaptured in the Indian coastal state of Goa.

Released in 1997, Sobhraj lived in Paris, giving paid interviews to journalists, but went back to Nepal in 2003.

He was then dramatically spotted in a casino playing baccarat by journalist Joseph Nathan, one of the founders of the Himalayan Times newspaper, and arrested.

“He looked harmless. … It was sheer luck that I recognised him,” Nathan told AFP on Thursday. “I think it was karma.”

A court in Nepal handed him a life sentence the following year for killing US tourist Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975. A decade later he was also found guilty of killing Bronzich’s Canadian companion.

Behind bars, Sobhraj maintained he was innocent of both murders and claimed he had never been to Nepal before the trip that resulted in his arrest.

“I really didn’t do it, and I think I will be out,” he told AFP in 2007 during an interview at Kathmandu’s Central Jail.

Thai police officer Sompol Suthimai, whose work with Interpol was instrumental in securing the 1976 arrest, had pushed for him to be extradited to Thailand and tried for murders there.

But on Thursday, he told AFP that he did not object to the release, as both he and the criminal he once pursued were now too old.

“I don’t have any feelings towards him now that it’s been so long,” said Suthimai, 90. “I think he has already paid for his actions.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
French farmers are not messing around.
The Dutch farmers have now BLOCKED the border crossing.
"STOP LYING"
Is Germany again the 'sick man of Europe'?
When dead children are just the price of doing business, Zuckerberg’s apology is empty
Employment and AI: A Double-Edged Sword
Thousands of Germans Protest Against Far-Right Party
×