South Asia

Have to sue Nepal: Sobhraj after release

KATHMANDU: Charles Sobhraj, a convicted killer who police say is responsible for a string of murders in the 1970s and 1980s, was released from a Nepal prison on Friday after nearly two decades behind bars.
The French national, 78, is suspected of killing more than 20 Western backpackers on the “hippie trail” through Asia, usually by drugging their food or drink in the course of robbing them.
He left Nepal early Friday evening on a regular flight to Doha en route to Paris, said Katak Rawal, a Kathmandu airport official.
After his release, Sobhraj told news agency AFP, “I feel great… I have a lot to do. I have to sue a lot of people. Including the state of Nepal.”
Sobhraj also told AFP on Friday that he was innocent of the two murders in Nepal that he served almost 20 years for in prison. “When I came in (went to prison), I didn’t do anything,” Sobhraj said on board his flight. “I am innocent in those cases, ok? So I don’t have to feel bad for that, or good. 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.”
Nepal has barred Sobhraj from entering the country for 10 years, Pradashanie Kumari, acting director general of the immigration department, said. The Himalayan nation’s Supreme Court had on Wednesday ordered his release from prison, where he served 19 years of a 20-year sentence, citing his advanced age.

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