French serial killer Charles Sobhraj released from Nepal jail following Supreme Court's order

Sobhraj was handed over to the immigration authorities to process his papers, officials said

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Charles Sobhraj, a Frenchman of Indian and Vietnamese parentage, was on Friday released from a Nepalese prison on the apex court's order after serving 19 years in jail on murder charges.

Sobhraj was handed over to the immigration authorities to process his papers, officials said.

A joint bench of justices Sapana Pradhan Malla and Tilak Prasad Shrestha on Wednesday ordered to free 78-year-old from jail.

His release was delayed by a day as the immigration authorities on Thursday requested to postpone his release till Friday citing lack of space to accommodate him.

His release from the Central Prison on Thursday was delayed by a day as the Department of Immigration, where Sobhraj was to be sent for deportation, did not have a separate room ready for him.

The apex court had ordered the government to deport him to the country that issued him passport within 15 days, unless he is wanted in some other case.

Nicknamed "the Bikini Killer" and "the Serpent" due to his skill at deception and evasion, Sobhraj was serving a life-term in the Kathmandu jail since 2003 for the murder of American woman Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975 in Nepal.

In 2014, he was convicted of killing Laurent Carriere, a Canadian backpacker, and given a second life sentence.

A life-term in Nepal means 20 years in jail.

The order by the division bench of Nepal's top court came after Sobhraj filed a plea claiming that he was put in prison more than the period recommended for him.

There is a legal provision to release prisoners who have completed 75 per cent jail term and showed good character during imprisonment.

Sobhraj through his petition had claimed that he had completed his jail term as per the concessions' entitled to senior citizens of Nepal.

He claimed that he had already served 19 of the 20 years of his sentence and had already been recommended for release for good behaviour.

Sobhraj was spotted in a Kathmandu casino in August 2003 and arrested.

He was slapped with a life sentence for the murder after a trial.

He had been linked to multiple killings of backpackers.

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