SC to decide Sobhraj’s fate

KATHMANDU: The long-awaited fate of the suspected international serial killer Charles Gurumukh Sobhraj will finally be decided by the Supreme Court (SC).

The Supreme Court has scheduled the final hearing on Sobhraj’s appeal on October 29.

“We are confident that now the case will be decided soon,” Ram Bandhu Sharma, Sobhraj’s legal counsel told The Himalayan Times today.

“Sobhraj’s fake passport possession case has been settled as per the apex court’s order. Now there is not much left to be decided,” Sharma added.

Sobhraj has been serving a 20-year life sentence pronounced by the Patan Appellate Court upholding the Kathmandu District Court’s verdict in a murder case.

Again, the Appellate Court had convicted Sobhraj in a fake passport case on May 12 slapping an additional one-year jail term and a fine of Rs 2,000.

During the course of hearing on the appeal of Sobhraj, the Supreme Court had referred the Patan Appellate Court to review the fake passport case from where Sobhraj got clean chit on the fake passport possession case. He was also convicted of a murder case.

“Since he has been convicted in the fake passport case the verdict is a significant evidence to convict him in the murder case from the apex court,” BL Shrestha, victim’s legal counsel, however, claimed.

While considering the final appeal of Sobhraj in a murder case, the apex court had referred the case to the Appellate Court to review the passport case.

The bench ascertained his visit in 1975 though he had been claiming that he had never visited Nepal in 1975 and not involved in crime. The Appellate Court however argued that he had visited Nepal possessing the passport of Henirus Bintanja.

The KDC had quashed the fake passport case giving clean chit to Sobhraj in 2004 while convicting him in a murder case. The Appellate Court had upheld the KDC verdict convicting Sobhraj of killing American backpacker Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975 in Nepal and had slapped 20-year jail term on him.

A separate case had been lodged at the Bhaktapur District Court against Sobhraj accusing him of killing Laurent Armond Carriere, a Canadian national.