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French serial killer Charles "The Serpent" Sobhraj​, released from prison in Nepal, says "I feel great"

Kathmandu, Nepal — Confessed French serial killer Charles Sobhraj was freed from prison in Nepal on Friday after serving most of his sentence for the murders of American and Canadian backpackers.

His nickname, "The Serpent," stems from his reputation as a disguise and escape artist.  

The country's Supreme Court had ordered Wednesday that Sobhraj, 78, who was sentenced to life in prison in Nepal, be released because of poor health, good behavior and having already served most of his sentence. Life sentences in Nepal are 20 years.

The court document said he had already served more than 75% of his sentence, making him eligible for release, and he has heart disease.

Charles Sobhraj in an undated photo. AP

 The order also said he had to leave the country within 15 days.

Agence France-Presse reports that Sobhraj was taken to immigration detention and then to Kathmandu airport to be deported to France.

On the plane before it took off, he told AFP, "I feel great. ... I have a lot to do. I have to sue a lot of people. Including the state of Nepal."

The AFP reporter then saw his flight take off.

The Frenchman has in the past admitted killing several Western tourists and he is believed to have killed at least 20 people in Afghanistan, India, Thailand, Turkey, Nepal, Iran and Hong Kong during the 1970s. However, his 2004 conviction in Nepal was the first time he was found guilty in court.

Sobhraj was held for two decades in New Delhi's maximum-security Tihar prison on suspicion of theft but was deported without charge to France in 1997. He resurfaced in September 2003 in Kathmandu.

Sobhraj is the subject of the 2021 Netflix series "The Serpent," inspired by his 1970's killing spree, starring Tahar Rahim and Jenna Coleman.

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