Eureka News Now —
Nepal’s top court on Wednesday ordered the release of Charles Sobhraj, the notorious French serial killer who inspired the award-winning TV series The Serpent.
The court made the decision based on his age and health, according to court spokesman Bimal Paudel.
Sobhraj, 78, was serving a life sentence in a prison in Bhaktapur, a Kathmandu suburb, for killing two tourists in 1975, but many of his alleged murders remain unsolved.
A two-judge chamber of the Supreme Court called on the government to release him immediately and deport him to “his country” within 15 days, the spokesman added.
Sobhraj has heart disease and will need open-heart surgery, the court said.
Born under French administration in Saigon, Vietnam, Sobhraj was jailed in Paris for burglary in 1963 but was later accused of crimes in a number of countries: France, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Thailand and Malaysia.
He also escaped from prisons in several countries, and his penchant for evading authorities earned him the nickname “The Serpent.”
Sobhraj eventually admitted to at least 12 murders between 1972 and 1976, and hinted at others to interviewers before recanting the confessions before further trials, according to his biographers. His true number of victims is unknown.
In 2014, a Nepalese court sentenced Sobhraj to 20 years in prison for the 1975 murder of Canadian tourist Laurent Carrière.
The 2021 Eureka News Now/Netflix drama The Serpent is based on the story of Sobhraj’s alleged murders. It tells how he evaded the law across Asia for years by allegedly drugging, robbing and murdering backpackers along the so-called ‘hippie trail’ – while former Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg was collaborating with authorities to get him catch.