Nepal court charges Sobhraj 'wife' and lawyer with contempt

5th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Nepal's Supreme Court has charged the lawyer of convicted murderer Charles Sobhraj and her daughter with contempt after they accused two judges of bias against him, a court official said Thursday.

Lawyer Shakuntala Thapa and her 22-year-old daughter, Nihita Biswas, who claims to have married the alleged serial killer in a secret ceremony, appeared in court on Wednesday and were held overnight in jail.

The move came after the court last week rejected an appeal by Sobhraj, a French citizen who is serving a life sentence in Nepal for the murder of an American backbacker in 1975.

Supreme Court judge Ram Kumar Prasad Shaha said that while there was no direct evidence against Sobhraj, the circumstantial evidence was sufficient to justify his 2004 conviction.

The two women reacted angrily to the verdict, telling journalists that the two judges in the case were biased and accusing the judges of accepting bribes.

Court spokesman Hemanta Rawal told AFP the hearing into the two women's case would continue Thursday.

Sobhraj, 66, has been linked with a string of killings across Asia in the 1970s, earning the nickname "bikini killer."

But he has always denied murdering backpacker Connie Joe Bronzich, whose stabbed and badly burned body was found on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Biswas has said she was married to Sobhraj in a secret Hindu ceremony held in his prison cell.

© 2010 AFP

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