Prince Delays Return Due to Safety Concerns Threats

Funcinpec President Prince No­ro­dom Ranariddh has postponed his return to Cambodia due to fears for his personal safety prompted by police officials visiting the home of royalist Senior Minister Serei Kosal on Wednesday, a Funcinpec official said.

Prince Ranariddh was supposed to return to Cambodia this week, but was rattled when police officials visited Serei Kosal’s home Wed­nesday morning, said Ok Socheat, the prince’s public affairs adviser.

“Some police officers [went] to his house yesterday morning,” Ok Socheat said Thursday, adding that the prince, who left Cambodia in recent days to seek medical treatment, will now return Sunday in­stead. Funcinpec’s Deputy Sec­re­tary-General Chhim Seak Leng said Prince Ranariddh is in Malaysia.

Serei Kosal said police officials parked outside his home in Kandal province, but they left when a neighbor told them that there were no armed men inside the senior minister’s home.

“They did not go into my house, but parked in front of the house,” he said. “I am not worried, I did nothing wrong,” he said, adding that he contacted National Police Com­mis­sioner Hok Lundy about the case.

Hok Lundy declined comment, oth­er than to say that it seems unlikely the alleged incident oc­curred.

Interior Ministry Spokesman Khieu Sopheak said he knew nothing about the reported police presence. But he said it seemed unlikely, as Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay had made ar­range­ments with Interior Minister Sar Kheng for security in Kandal before Funcinpec’s Thursday Pchum Ben celebration.

“Tell the prince not to believe these two men,” Khieu Sopheak said of Serei Kosal and Ok Socheat.

Chhim Seak Leng told reporters at Thursday’s ceremony at a Kandal province pagoda that the prince re­mained outside Cambodia because he was busy.

Some 300 Funcinpec officials and family members attended the ceremony, where Funcinpec commemorated deceased royalist officials including those killed during the 1997 factional fighting.


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