The much-anticipated verdict on the fate of Charles Sobhraj, 65, accused of murdering an American backpacker in 1975, was deferred by the Nepal Supreme Court on Wednesday till July 30.
Justices Ram Kumar Prasad Shah and Gauri Dhakal stated that they needed more time to verify documents presented by prosecution as well replies submitted by Sobhraj’s counsels.
“We still have to verify corroborative documents and need at least two more weeks to do that,” said Justice Shah in a courtroom packed with local journalists and many who had arrived from New Delhi.
Sobhraj’s counsel informed that could not be present in court as he was ill. His ‘wife’ Nihita Biswas, a Nepali girl in her 20s, whom he married while inside prison, was present in the courtroom.
Following his arrest in Kathmandu in 2003, Sobhraj has been in jail after a trial court held him guilty of murdering Connie Jo Bronzich in Nepal in 1975 and sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment.
Sobhraj also known as ‘Bikini Killer’ and ‘Serpent’ due to nearly dozen murders allegedly committed across Asia in the 70s, maintains that he had not visited Nepal prior to 2003 and appealed in SC against the lower court verdict.
“It was disappointing that the verdict had to be postponed. But we have to be hopeful,” said Nihita after the court announced the decision.
Sobhraj’s counsel Shakuntala Thapa and prosecution counsel Bishwalal Shrestha hoped that the final verdict would be announced on July 30.