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INDIA: NEW DELHI: CHARLES SOBHRAJ AWAITS DEPORTATION

by: AP Archive     Published on: 21 July 2015

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English/Nat The man accused of murdering at least 14 people in Thailand more than 20 years ago is still inside an Indian jail - as diplomats bicker over his final destination. Charles Sobhraj, a French citizen, served 21 years for theft in a New Delhi jail. He faces no charges in India, but was taken into custody and held without charge while Indian officials prepared for his deportation. That was delayed at the last minute as officials in Paris questioned his status. Charles Sobhraj spent his what should have been his last day in India just as he has many others here - under the watchful eyes of police guarding one of the world's most notorious violent criminals. Sobhraj, freed last week after 21 years in an Indian jail and ordered deported soon after, said he would fly to Paris on an Air India flight early Tuesday. He spoke to reporters from a police van parked outside a New Delhi court house after completing the last legal details of his departure. UPSOUND: "My family I want to see, may family and friends." SUPER CAPTION: Charles Sobhraj Sobhraj said the French embassy in New Delhi on Monday delivered travel papers he would need to enter France. Sobhraj had arrived in India on improper papers, and lack of a passport delayed his departure after his deportation was cleared last Friday. Sobhraj faces no more charges in India, but police wanted to restrict his movements, apparently reluctant to let a man accused of at least 14 murders wander freely. Police were expected to escort him to the airport and put Sobhraj, a French citizen, on a plane to France. That plan was put on hold late on Monday - after officials in Paris raised question's over his status. He was first arrested in New Delhi 21 years ago, accused of murdering two tourists and stealing their jewellery. At the time, only the theft charge stuck. He was acquitted of the murders and for years refused to seek bail. The Indian jail term gave him legal protection from an arrest warrant from Thailand, where he faced the death penalty on murder charges. Thai authorities accuse Sobhraj of murdering 14 tourists in Thailand more than 20 years ago. Only last year did he begin bail proceedings after the 20-year limit for Thailand to press charges expired. But police detained 52-year-old Sobhraj last week just as he was released from prison. He was not formally charged, but held pending deportation. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/9a1da4a68582b5804e21917ab5dd2d2c Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork