French serial killer Charles Sobhraj, has been released from Nepal Central Jail on Friday.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the Himalayan nation ordered the release of Sobhraj on the grounds of old age and deteriorating health conditions.
He was serving his sentence in Nepali jail since 2003 on the charge of murdering two American tourists. The court concluded that the 78-year-old will be set free as he had already completed 95 per cent of his jail term.
In the verdict delivered on Wednesday evening, Supreme Court said, "The regulation on prison management envisions a waiver of up to 75 per cent of the jail term of the prisoners over 65 years of age and with good conduct."
Sobhraj's lawyers had long been demanding the court's intervention for clemency. In different petitions, they had demanded a waiver of his jail sentence, citing provisions of Clause 12 (1) of the Senior Citizens Act 2063. The court has now ordered the government to make arrangements for repatriating Sobhraj to his home country within 15 days, ANI reported.
"Kept in prison here at Central Jail for a long time, the French national Charles Sobhraj has been ordered to be released by the Supreme Court on 21st December. We checked the records of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur District Court and have requested clearance from them over the cases registered against him. We are now preparing to release him from prison and then we will hand him over to the Department of Immigration. We will take him to the department after they finish their preparations," Ishwori Prasad Pandey, the Jailer at Central Jail in Kathmandu told reporters before Sobhraj underwent medical checkups.
The notorious criminal has also appealed to Nepal authorities to let him stay in a hotel and undergo open heart surgery at the Gangalal Heart Hospital in Kathmandu. But the authorities are yet to decide on it.
"I talked to Charles and told him that the media are waiting outside and want to talk. The jail authorities were also willing to let him talk but he (Charles) refused to speak to the media. Also, the talk about his treatment at Gangalal Hospital and his desire to stay at the hotel till the time of deportation is also under consideration and talks are underway with the Home Ministry and Department of Prison Management whose decision also would come tomorrow. All these things would be decided tomorrow (Friday), the ANI report stated.