US engineer’s family quits Singapore inquest, insisting he was murdered

May 22, 2013
May 22, 2013

The family of a US engineer found dead in Singapore last year has disavowed the ongoing coroner’s inquest into his death, saying they “no longer have confidence in the transparency and fairness of the system.”

The parents and brothers of Shane Todd claim that he was murdered because of his involvement with a sensitive technology project that has potential military uses. The Singapore police initially ruled his death a suicide, but were forced to re-open the case due to the Todds’ high-profile campaign that enlisted US senators and the FBI.

The Todd family walked out of the inquest on Tuesday after they claimed they were not given enough time to prepare for a new witness: Luis Alejandro Montes, Shane Todd’s colleague at Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics, who was the last person to see him alive, according to Singapore government lawyers. According to Montes’ prepared testimony, he had a beer with Todd on the day before his death.

On Wednesday, the Todds’ lawyers said they would not return to court, and “will now turn to the court of public opinion with all their complete evidence that their son was indeed murdered.”

Earlier in the week, the inquest heard testimony from Shane Todd’s supervisor, Patrick Lo, who admitted for the first time that Todd had attended a series of meetings with senior officials from the Chinese company Huawei to discuss collaborating on a project for developing gallium nitride technology, which is used in electronics for radar installations, among other applications.

Lo testified that those talks ended in July, 2012, with Huawei deciding not to go ahead with the deal. Shane Todd’s body had been found on June 22.

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