SC asks government why Sobhraj should not be released – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper



The Supreme Court today issued a show cause notice to the government in response to a habeas corpus petition filed by murder convict Charles Sobhraj seeking a remission of his prison sentence on the grounds that he is an elderly person.

A single bench of Judge Anil Kumar Sinha issued the show cause notice asking the government to provide a written response within three days on why Shobhraj should not be released from prison.

The Frenchman, who earned the nickname “bikini killer” for committing serial murders across Asia in the 1970s, was convicted in Nepal for two murders and has been in prison here since 2003.

Sobhraj’s attorney, lawyer Shakuntala Thapa, told THT that her client, who was 77, had filed a habeas corpus petition with the SC, because even after the Supreme Court ordered the government there was three years to ask him to rule within three months on the question of the postponement of his sentence, the government did nothing and he was still in prison. “Our main argument is that there should be no discrimination between a Nepalese and a foreign prisoner.

No Nepalese convict has spent more than 10 years in prison, but Sobhraj has been in prison for 18 years, ”Thapa said.

However, the director of the Department of Prisons, Shravan Kumar Pokharel, told THT that Sobhraj’s argument for the remission of his prison sentence on the grounds that he was an elderly person was not valid because the law on Elderly people stated in its explanation section that the provisions would only apply to Nepalese. nationals.

In 2014, Sobhraj was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 1975 murder in Kathmandu of Canadian tourist Laurent Carriere. In 2004, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of American tourist Connie Jo Bronzich.

Sobhraj had undergone open heart surgery in 2017.

Sobhraj was arrested at a Kathmandu casino after his photo was printed on the front page of THT while living incognito in Thamel.

Pokharel said the Interior Ministry has drafted rules for the remission of prison sentences for Nepalese citizens in accordance with the Supreme Court’s order and the new rules could be finalized within the next two weeks.

The Elderly Persons Act stipulates that the elderly can get a penalty exemption of not more than 50 percent in the case of an elderly person who is 70 years old, but not yet 75 years old. The Law on the Elderly also stipulates that notwithstanding everything that is contained in the laws in force, the court may, taking into account the gravity of the offense, order to detain an incapacitated elderly person or an elderly person who has completed the age 75 who was sentenced to imprisonment in a health center and not in prison.

A version of this article appears in the December 24, 2021 print of The Himalayan Times.


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