TWO JAILED FOR KILLING CAMBODIAN POLITICIAN


2003.10.28
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A Cambodian court has handed down long prison terms to two men convicted of killing a prominent backer of the royalist opposition party FUNCINPEC, RFA's Khmer service reports.

Mom Sophan, 29, and Ros Siphat, 26, were convicted Monday of murder, robbery, and use of illicit weapons in the February shooting of FUNCINPEC official Om Radsady in broad daylight. Both men were sentenced to 20 years in prison.

"Yes, I shot him and robbed him," Mom Sophan told reporters before the verdict was read.

Om Radsady was a diplomat and senior advisor to FUNCINPEC leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh. He served as a member of parliament from 1993-98.

His death, ahead of July general elections, sent shock waves through Cambodia. FUNCINPEC has described his murder as politically motivated.

"I want to send a message to other bad guys not to commit such a crime or they will face the same punishment," Reuters quoted presiding Judge Tan Senarong of the Phnom Penh municipal court as saying.

Tan Senarong said he regarded the murder as connected to robbery rather than politics.

Cambodian King Sihanouk on Tuesday announced the resumption of multiparty talks canceled after the shooting of a FUNCINPEC-aligned journalist.

He was one of five opposition backers to be shot this month. #####

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