TWO men have been arrested in connection with the killing of senior Funcinpec official
Om Radsady. Sau Phan, deputy director-general of the police at the Ministry of Interior
(MoI), said Mom Sophann, also known as Ea Naren, would appear in court on March 14.
Radsady was shot dead on February 18 by a man riding a blue Honda AX-1 motorcycle.
That evening the MoI attributed the assassination to an act of petty theft, but that
explanation was widely dismissed.
Sau Phan said the motive of the alleged killer, who is a rank and file member of
the parachute regiment 911, was unclear. The second man arrested is Sophann's brother,
who has not confessed to being involved.
"He said he killed Radsady because he was poor," said Sau Phan of Mom Sophann.
"We asked the commander of the parachute unit to hand him over."
Mom Sophann was arrested after police found his motorbike in a bike shop in Phnom
Penh. He had apparently sold the bike to the shop owner, and police were able to
use the AX-1's documentation to trace him.
Radsady, who was a senior advisor to Funcinpec president Prince Norodom Ranariddh,
was shot after lunching with colleagues, and died in Calmette Hospital several hours
Witnesses said a man wearing a motorbike helmet shot him with a K-59 pistol, walked
off, then came back and took his mobile phone before being driven away by another
man. The killing of the popular royalist shocked many politicians and diplomats.
Serey Kosal, who is Ranariddh's political adviser, told the Post he did not recognize
the name of the alleged killer, but said the party welcomed his arrest. He encouraged
the authorities to continue their work to ensure justice was done, but said more
evidence was needed to determine the motive.
"Funcinpec still considers the killing of Om Radsady a political act unless
there is clear evidence to disprove it," Serey Kosal said.
MoI spokesman General Khieu Sopheak said the ministry had conducted ballistics tests
on the gun which proved it was the weapon used in the killing.
"The test on the gun has provided the most important evidence," said Sopheak,
"and I am hopeful there will be more arrests."
He added that other evidence to be presented in a future trial included a Nokia 9210
mobile phone - the same model as that stolen from Radsady - the motorbike, and a
helmet. The state would also produce witnesses who reportedly saw the killer's face.