Who is the 'bikini killer' Charles Sobhraj?
published : 22 Dec 2022 at 11:23
PARIS: Nepal's Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of Charles Sobhraj, a French national known as the "bikini killer" who police say is responsible killing over 20 young Western backpackers across Asia during the 1970s and 1980s.
Here are some facts about Sobhraj:
- Sobhraj, 78, was born to an Indian father and Vietnamese mother. Associates have described him as a con artist, a seducer, a robber and a murderer.
- Thailand issued a warrant for the arrest of Sobhraj in the mid-1970s on charges of drugging and killing six women, all wearing bikinis, on a beach at Pattaya.
He was, however, jailed in India before he could stand trial on those charges.
- Sobhraj was sentenced in India to 21 years in jail on murder charges. Adept at changing his appearance, he earned another moniker, "the serpent", after his escape from prison there in the mid-1980s. He was caught and returned to jail until 1997.
- Sobhraj returned to France following his release in India. In 2003 he was arrested at a casino in Nepal's capital Kathmandu and convicted of murdering American backpacker Connie Jo Bronzich.
Sobhraj denied killing the American woman, whose body was found in a wheat field near the Nepali capital. His lawyers said the charge against him was based on assumption.
Several years later he was also found guilty of killing Bronzich's Canadian friend, Laurent Carriere.
He had been held in a high-security jail in Kathmandu since 2003.