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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
'Bikini killer' jail appeal fails
Charles Sobhraj being escorted from court
Sobhraj's story has inspired two books and a film
A Nepalese court has rejected an appeal by notorious criminal Charles Sobhraj against his life sentence.

Sobhraj was convicted last year of the murder of an American backpacker in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, three decades ago.

Sobhraj, a 61-year old French national, expressed surprise at the rejection of his appeal.

He is wanted in a number of Asian countries for the murder of more than 20 Western backpackers.

"I am shocked. I am really shocked," Sobhraj told reporters after leaving the appelate court.

Life of crime

Sobhraj, became known as the "bikini killer" after being connected to the deaths of Western women at the Pattaya beach resort in Thailand.

He spent 20 years in Indian jails.

Nepalese police arrested Sobhraj in September 2003 at a casino in Kathmandu and in August 2004 sentenced him to life imprisonment for the murder of US tourist Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975.

In November last year, four policemen and a prison official were suspended for allegedly trying to help Sobhraj to escape from prison.

A life sentence in Nepal usually equates to 20 years in jail, observers say. Sobhraj says he will appeal to the Supreme Court.

Nepal suspends 'killer's helpers'
12 Nov 04 |  South Asia
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03 Nov 04 |  South Asia
Infamous criminal in Nepal court
22 Sep 03 |  South Asia

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