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Baucus Demands Answers on Engineer Death in Singapore

Democrat Senator Max Baucus of Montana
Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg

U.S. Senator Max Baucus said he is “nowhere close” to resolving his questions about the death of an American research engineer in Singapore.

Baucus, a Montana Democrat, met on March 5 with Singapore’s ambassador to the U.S., Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, and said yesterday he has more meetings scheduled. Baucus is probing the June 2012 death of Shane Todd, who worked at the Institute of Microelectronics in Singapore, a unit of Singapore’s state-run Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

“I want to get to the bottom of it, and I made that very clear to him,” Baucus said in a brief interview in Washington. “And I’ll do what it takes to get to the bottom of it.”

Todd’s family, who live in Montana, had suggested in reports including in the Financial Times that his death may be tied to a project the institute was working on with China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

According to the Financial Times, Singapore police said that Todd had hanged himself in his apartment. Todd’s mother, Mary, was quoted in the article saying that the state of the apartment didn’t match the police description and that her son had appeared to be in the middle of packing for his return home.

Mirpuri and Baucus met on the afternoon of March 5, the Singapore Foreign Affairs Ministry said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The Straits Times earlier reported their scheduled meeting.

Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax and trade policy, said he made his point “as strong as I could” in the meeting.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will assist Singapore police. Huawei has denied working with the research institute on the project the family suggested.

Todd’s father, Rick Todd, didn’t return a phone call to his office in Marion, Montana, or respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

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