Serial killer Charles Sobhraj arrives in Paris after release: AFP

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  • Charles Sobhraj arrived in Paris on Saturday after almost 20 years in prison.
  • The French serial killer was released two days after a court ruled that he should be freed on health grounds.
  • On Friday he boarded a flight at Kathmandu airport to take him to France via Doha.

French serial killer Charles Sobhraj, responsible for multiple murders in the 1970s across Asia, arrived in Paris on Saturday after almost 20 years in prison in Nepal, an AFP reporter confirmed.

Nepal's top court ruled Wednesday that he should be freed on health grounds and deported to France within 15 days. He was released from prison two days later.

On Friday he boarded a flight at Kathmandu airport to take him to France via Doha. On arrival at the French capital, he was taken by border police for "identity checks", according to an airport source.

Sobhraj's life was chronicled in the series "The Serpent" co-produced by Netflix and the BBC.

Born in Saigon to an Indian father and a Vietnamese mother who later married a Frenchman, Sobhraj embarked on an international life of crime and ended up in Thailand in 1975.

Posing as a gem trader, he would befriend his victims, many of them Western backpackers on the 1970s hippie trail, before drugging, robbing and murdering them.

He was implicated in the 1975 killing of a young American woman whose body was found on a beach, and was eventually linked to more than 20 murders.

Arrested in India in 1976, he ultimately spent 21 years in jail there, with a brief break in 1986 when he drugged prison guards and escaped. He was recaptured in the Indian coastal state of Goa.

Released in 1997, Sobhraj lived in Paris, giving paid interviews to journalists, but went back to Nepal in 2003.

A court in Nepal handed Sobhraj a life sentence the following year for killing US tourist Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975. A decade later, he was also found guilty of killing Bronzich's Canadian companion.

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