THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Vol. 12, No. 6
March 17th - 24th 2003
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 adviser to Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh, was shot after lunching with colleagues and died in Calmette Hospital several hours later. 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.