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Nepal's SC to decide Sobhraj's fate

September 17, 2007 17:11 IST
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Nepal's Supreme Court will soon decide the fate of serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who has been held responsible for the murder of two foreign nationals in the country in 1975.

A division bench of Justices Anup Raj Sharma and Tap Bahadur Magar will pronounce its verdict on an appeal filed by the international criminal of Indian and Vietnamese origin on November 4 after lower courts in Nepal held him guilty for the murder of two foreigners.

Sobhraj, who preyed on Western tourists throughout south-east Asia during the 1970s, was arrested in Kathmandu from a casino of Hotel Yak and Yeti on September 20, 2003 and charged with the murder of two tourists and for violating immigration laws.

Nicknamed 'the Serpent' and 'the Bikini killer' for his skills at deception and evasion, he allegedly committed at least 12 murders and was jailed in India from 1976 to 1997, but lived a life of leisure in prison.

He was living in Paris as a "celebrity" before he unexpectedly returned to Nepal on September 1, 2003 and got arrested. However, he has been pleading innocence, saying he had come to Nepal only to establish an export business.

On August 20, 2004, the Kathmandu District Court sentenced him to life imprisonment, convicting him for killing the two tourists - Connie Jo Bronzich, 29, a onetime Stanford radiology student from Saratoga, and her companion, Canadian Laurent Armand Carriere, the Kantipur Online said Monday.

The top court began the hearing on his appeal filed on August 8. Most of the evidence against him came from the painstaking accumulation of documents by Knippenberg and Interpol. The court had also ordered the confiscation of his property. The appellate court had upheld the district courts decision.

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