Murder convict Sobhraj on pending list of elderly prisoners awaiting waiver of jail sentence

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s jail administration has put French national Charles Sobhraj, a murder convict serving jail sentence in Nepal, on the list of elderly prisoners awaiting waiver of jail sentence.

Spokesperson at the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Sanjeeb Raj Regmi, said he was not fully aware of the inclusion of Charles Sobhraj on the list of waiver of jail sentence of elderly prisoners, in a move forwarded by Attorney General Agni Kharel.

However, he said the provision related to waiver of jail term of elderly prisoners in the Senior Citizens Act depends upon two factors -- the government’s decision whether or not to waive the sentence, and secondly, whether the person in question is a threat to society.

It has been expected that the move of OAG on waiver of jail sentence of 13 elderly prisoners is likely to put pressure on the government to take a call on the listed prisoners including Sobhraj.

On June 9, 2017, Sobhraj who was involved in a string of murders throughout Asia in the 1970s, was admitted to a Kathmandu-based hospital for an open heart surgery. Sobhraj was taken to hospital in late May that year after suffering a heart attack and was diagnosed with a weak valve that needed to be corrected through surgery.

Sobhraj — a French citizen of Vietnamese and Indian parentage — was sentenced to life imprisonment by Kathmandu District Court on August 20, 2004 for the killing of US tourist Connie Joe Bronzich in 1975.