A FRENCH serial killer who was portrayed in the hit show The Serpent is set to be released from prison – despite links to at least 20 deaths.
Charles Sobhraj has been ordered to return to France within 15 days after spending 19 years behind bars for the murder of two tourists in Kathmandu in 1975.
3Serial killer Charles Sobhraj will be released from prisonCredit: AFP3He served 19 years for the murders of two touristsCredit: Reuters3The Frenchman was portrayed in the hit show The SerpentCredit: AlamySobhraj is linked to the deaths of up to 24 other people, mainly backpackers, between the 1970s and 1980s.
He claims to have killed at least 20 young Westerners who were travelling through Asia by drugging their food or drink.
But his conviction in 2004 for the murders of an American woman, Connie Jo Bronzich, and her Canadian backpacker friend, Laurent Carriere,l was the first time he had been found guilty in court.
Sobhraj’s release was agreed to after his lawyers asked the Supreme Court in Nepal for a concession.
They argued he should be freed due to his age and good character will incarcerated.
Provisions are made in Nepal, where life sentences span 20 years, for those who complete 75% of their sentences and show good behaviour.
The verdict stated: “Keeping him in the prison continuously is not in line with the prisoner’s human rights.
“If there is not any other pending cases against him to keep him in the prison, this court orders his release by today and the return to his country within 15 days,”
He could be back on the streets as soon as Thursday.
Although Sobhraj’s crimes reached a deadly peak in the 1970s, it was just the tip of an iceberg that saw him rob, swindle, drug and seduce his way around the world, all in a desperate search for danger.
He once admitted: “When it gets hot, I go to the kitchen.”
Yet whenever things reached boiling point Sobhraj slithered away from authorities so much he was branded The Serpent, a nickname used as the title for the BBC1 TV show, which chronicles his worst offences.
The drama follows the real life killer and his reign of terror as he took the lives of countless travellers in Thailand, Nepal and India during the 1970s, drugging them and often stealing their identities.
Tahar Rahim stars as Sobhraj’s while Billy Howle plays Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg, who eventually helped jail him.
Marie-Andrée Leclerc, the tragic French-Canadian who he brainwashed into helping him, is portrayed by Jenna Coleman, who has described her character as “deluded”.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk