Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Sobhraj knew of Deuba verdict before world did

Kathmandu, July 27 - From behind bars, master criminal Charles Sobhraj came to know of the two-year jail term and Rs.90 million fine for deposed Nepalese prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba perhaps much before most others.Sobhraj had apparently pieced it all together from the conversations of policemen.His lawyer Sanjeev Ghimire said he was aware of the verdict almost immediately though Deuba, his minister for physical planning and works Prakash Man Singh and four more people were sentenced to jail terms and fines late afternoon for corruption.Ghimire said Sobhraj could make out the verdict from the conversation of policemen in his prison, who were in a state of excitement, preparing to have Deuba and Singh transferred to one of the cells after the verdict.Sobhraj, who is a French national but is currently serving out a 20-year jail term in a Kathmandu prison, also told Ghimire: "I am amazed. I can make no head or tail of Nepalese politics."Dubbed "The Serpent" and "Bikini Killer" by the tabloids in the 1970s for a string of murders of young Western backpackers in several Asian countries, Sobhraj was arrested in Kathmandu in 2003 and charged with the double murder of American tourist Connie Jo Bronzich and her Canadian boyfriend Laurent Armand Carriere committed nearly three decades ago. A Kathmandu court found him guilty of Bronzich's murder last year and gave him life imprisonment.While his appeal is coming up for hearing next month, besides coordinating his defence with his lawyers, Sobhraj is also keenly studying the political changes in Nepal."Now that King Gyanendra has direct control of the government, he is taking action against people regarded as his men," he told Ghimire.
Courtesy:Indo-Asian News Service

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