The Singapore police department said it will share evidence with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation relating to the death of Shane Todd, an American research engineer who worked in the city.
“The Singapore Police Force and FBI have engaged in several discussions and are working together,” police said in a statement yesterday. The police force “will share with FBI evidence obtained so far in accordance with the legal framework of both countries,” it said.
Shane Todd had worked at the Institute of Microelectronics in Singapore, a unit of the state-owned Agency for Science, Technology and Research. His death may be tied to one of the company’s projects and possible technology transfers to China, his father Rick Todd has said. The institute said last week it has cooperated fully with police.
Rick Todd said the family disputed the Singapore police department’s conclusion that his son had committed suicide and they were seeking further investigation into his death. They raised the issue with lawmakers including Montana Democrat, Senator Max Baucus, who met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week and discussed the case.
Singapore’s Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam, who met with Baucus yesterday, said there was no transfer of technology from the institute to China, according to the New York Times. The foreign minister is scheduled to meet Kerry today in Washington. Shanmugam also plans to meet with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this week to “discuss ways to broaden and deepen bilateral cooperation,” according to the Singapore foreign ministry.
Singapore police asked the Todd family to share any evidence they have with the FBI, if they’re not comfortable with Singapore investigators, the department said on March 4.
“Both agencies are committed fully to ensuring that the investigation is thorough and that all available evidence relevant to the cause of, and circumstances connected with, the death of Shane Todd is made available at the coroner’s inquiry,” police said, adding that the coroner will determine the cause of death independently.
Rick Todd and his wife Mary said today they will “definitely” attend the inquiry and challenge any claims that their son had killed himself. “If they say our son committed suicide, we will bring all the evidence we have to show who murdered him and why he was murdered,” Mary Todd said in a phone interview.
Rick Todd said police had requested an external hard drive the family took from his son’s apartment in Singapore and a 2002 psychological report when he was in graduate school at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Rick Todd said his son faced stress like any student and sought counseling and treatment from an on-campus doctor, though he said there wasn’t a psychological report.
The family has been in contact with the FBI and won’t hand over the hard drive until the U.S. investigators are allowed to fully participate in the Singapore probe, Rick Todd said today. The family wants police in Singapore to share evidence taken from Shane Todd’s apartment, including two computers, his diary and mobile phone, the father said.
“We will believe it when we see these in the hands of the FBI,” he said in the same interview. “It doesn’t make sense for us to give information to the FBI until they’re given full access to the investigation.”
The Singapore police department declined to comment further today.
Financial Times first reported the investigation into the death of Shane Todd, who was 31 when he died. He was last seen on the evening of June 22 and was found hanging in his apartment two days later, Rick Todd said. The couple has visited the city-state three times, once when their son was a baby and two subsequent trips after his death, Mary Todd said.