Charles Sobhraj, the French serial killer who inspired the BBC drama "The Serpent," was released from a prison in Nepal today, December 23.
Sobhraj, who served most of his sentence for the murders of American and Canadian backpackers, was driven out of Central Jail in Kathmandu today and escorted by a heavily guarded police convoy to the Department of Immigration, where he will wait for his travel documents to be prepared.
Sobhraj, who was sentenced to life in prison in Nepal, was released by a Supreme Court in the country on grounds of poor health, good behavior, and having already served most of his sentence. Life sentences in Nepal are 20 years.
His attorney, Gopal Siwakoti Chitan, told reporters that the request for the travel documents must be made by the immigration department to the French embassy in Nepal, which could take some time. Offices are closed over the weekend for the Christmas holiday.
The court document said he had already served more than 75% of his sentence, making him eligible for release, and he has heart disease.
Before being convicted in Nepal in 2004, Sobhraj admitted killing several Western tourists, and he is believed to have killed at least 20 people in Afghanistan, India, Thailand, Turkey, Nepal, Iran, and Hong Kong during the 1970s.
Sobhraj, whose nickname, "The Serpent," stems from his reputation as a disguise and escape artist, was held for two decades in New Delhi's maximum-security Tihar prison on suspicion of theft but was deported without charge to France in 1997. He resurfaced in September 2003 in Kathmandu.
Despite serving nearly 20 years in jail, Sobhraj has claimed he wants to broker a lucrative film deal with Virgin tycoon Richard Branson to sell his story.
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