The Supreme Court has ordered the release of French serial killer Charles Sobhraj on the grounds of old age and failing health.
Sobhraj, 78, has been serving time in a Kathmandu jail since 2003 on the charges of murdering two American tourists.
A division bench of Justices Sapana Pradhan Malla and Til Prasad Shrestha issued the order on Wednesday. The court also ordered his deportation within 15 days of his release.
In response to a writ petition on a show cause order, the justices mentioned that Sobhraj was under medication for heart disease.
"If it is not necessary to imprison him for other cases, he needs to be released. And arrangements should be made to deport him to his home country within 15 days," the court order stated, urging the authority concerned to send the message to the Prison Office through the district court.
"He has also served 75 per cent (19 years) of his jail term. So, it is unreasonable to keep him in prison from the viewpoints of the constitution, legal rights, and human rights of prisoners," it said.
In 2003, the District Court, Bhaktapur issued an order of life imprisonment along with confiscation of all property of Sobhraj over the murders of two American tourists.
Sobhraj gained the infamous monikers 'Bikini Killer' and 'Serpent' for allegedly committing murders, the designations attributed to his victims being discovered wearing just bikinis and his proficiency at eluding prosecution.