SC rejects Sobhraj’s plea to argue

Kathmandu, August 27:

The Supreme Court today debarred international serial killer Charles Gurumkh Sobhraj from putting forth his arguments before a bench hearing his case.

Sobhraj was produced in the court under heavy security as he had filed a plea requesting the court to let him appear before the bench to defend a new fact presented by government attorneys in the last hearing.

Standing in the dock, Sobhraj tried to put forth his arguments, but the judges did not allow him to speak a word. “We have a practice that the accused is not allowed to argue when the hearing has begun and the laywers have been pleading,” Justice Anup Raj Sharma said. A division bench comprising Justices Sharma and Top Bahadur Magar has been hearing the case. Justice Sharma, however, said the bench would consider whether or not to allow him to speak after his lawyers conclude their arguments.

The government attorneys had on Friday said that Sobhraj had admitted in an Indian court that he had visited Nepal in 1975.

“I am here to say something,” Sobhraj told journalists before he went into the courtroom. “The prosecution lawyers’ claim is baseless. I never gave such a statement in the court in India,” he claimed.

According to him, a Delhi court had acquitted him in the case related to the murder of one Luck Soleman.

Today, lawyers Dr Rajit Bhakta Pradhananga and Ramesh Prasad Koirala pleaded on behalf of Johan Calaborn Bronzich — the father of Connie Jo Bronzich, the murdered woman. The next hearing will be conducted on September 9.