Singapore police to share evidence with FBI on engineer's death
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Singapore's police have pledged to share with the FBI evidence they collected in the death of Shane Todd, an American engineer found hanged in his Singapore apartment in June, Singaporean foreign minister, K. Shanmugam, said on Tuesday.
Todd's death is at the center of what has become a delicate bilateral issue between Singapore and the United States.
Senator Max Baucus, who represents Todd's home state of Montana, has been pressing for more U.S. involvement into the inquiry into his death. He said he would "stop at nothing" to satisfy Todd's parents or determine that there had been no transfer of technology that might jeopardize U.S. national security.
"Today's meeting is about getting answers, getting complete answers," said Baucus, who is also chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which oversees trade deals.
"So far we're unable to get the answers we need to know what happened to Shane, Shane Todd. We're unable to know the degree to which there might have been some breach of national security. So far answers have not been forthcoming," Baucus said.
Todd's parents contend the 31-year-old's death was not a suicide, but that he was murdered because of his involvement in a project between Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics, or IME, and the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei shortly before his death.
Shanmugam and Singapore's ambassador to the United States, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, met with Baucus at his Senate office and then held a news conference about Todd's case. Shanmugan was meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry on issues including the case on Wednesday.
"We are committed to working with and making it clear exactly what happened and getting to the bottom of it," Shanmugan said.
"The Singapore police force will be happy to share the evidence it has obtained and the FBI can look through it," he said.
He said all of the government's evidence would be presented for public enquiry, where Todd's family could hire lawyers and take part, and that Singapore had felt it was inappropriate to discuss the case before the enquiry.
Huawei said last month it had not worked with an institute in Singapore on any projects in Todd's field of expertise, which was Gallium Nitride (GaN), an advanced semiconductor material that has both commercial and military purposes.
Shanmugan said the IME is subject to "very rigorous audit" to ensure there was no improper transfer of technology. "We are very happy for a U.S. team to come down and look at the projects and it will be very clear that there was no transfer of technology."
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jackie Frank)
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