Funcinpec Secretary-General Prince Norodom Sirivudh has been receiving “strange” phone calls from a disused number that once belonged to the late Om Radsady, a Funcinpec adviser who was killed last February, according to royalist party spokesman Kassie Neou.
Kassie Neou said Prince Sirivudh had received “a couple” of calls from an unidentified person using Om Radsady’s number, which the prince immediately recognized when it appeared on his phone.
“The prince just saw the number [and did not pick up]…. It’s better not to confront it,” Kassie Neou said, adding “I would not dare to answer.”
Contacted Tuesday, Prince Sirivudh denied he had received any such calls from the late Funcinpec adviser’s number, though he said a “colleague close to Om Radsady” had.
He said his colleague, who wished to remain unidentified, was scared and panicked a little bit when he received the calls about a month ago, but the prince could not provide further details.
Whether the alleged calls made from Om Radsady’s phone number were intended to be a prank, a threat, or were simply a case of mistaken identity are unclear.
“I would like someone to explain to me, technically, how this can happen…. I don’t know if it’s somebody just playing a stupid thing,” Prince Sirivudh said. “I do not believe in ghosts.”
When dialed on Tuesday, an electronic message revealed the number that once belonged to Om Radsady, which began with the 012 Mobitel code, was no longer in service. A Mobitel operator said that number had not been reassigned.
Om Radsady, whom Prince Sirivudh called a close friend, was shot outside a restaurant near the Independence Monument on Feb 18, 2003. Two RCAF paratroopers Mom Siphan, 30, and Ros Siphat, 29, were each sentenced in October to 20 years in prison after testifying they had killed Om Radsady to steal his phone.
However, the two suspects gave conflicting reports about what happened to the phone after the shooting. Initially, they told police they had sold the phone. But in October, they told the court they threw it off the Monivong Bridge into the Tonle Bassac river.
Adding to the phone’s hazy whereabouts, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak originally said authorities had found a mobile phone, which they claimed was the same model stolen from Om Radsady, in one of the suspect’s possession after his arrest. Questions about the motive of the killing were also raised.
Eyewitnesses said the gunman first fled from the scene to a waiting motorcycle, and only returned to the dead Om Radsady to retrieve the phone after the get-away driver sent him back to get it. Though Funcinpec officials said the killing was political, police said it was a case of robbery.
Khieu Sopheak could not be reached Wednesday.
Municipal Deputy Police Chief Heng Pov, however, said there was no doubt where the phone was.
“They threw it into the river,” he said Tuesday, adding he did not know how anyone could have called from the number.
In the past month, several members of Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party claim to have received “strange” phone calls.
Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay said he received a call from an unknown man, warning him the killer of popular actress Piseth Pilika had now been hired to kill him. Piseth Pilika was shot to death in 1999. Her killer was never found.
Kassie Neou said he had no idea who could be using Om Radsady’s old number nor why.