Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 03/18/2013 03:39 | By Channel NewsAsia

MFA disappointed at US "pressure" tactics over investigations into Shane Todd’s death

MFA disappointed at US "pressure" tactics over investigations into Shane Todd’s death

MFA disappointed at US "pressure" tactics over investigations into Shane Todd’s death

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has said that the issue of applying "pressure" should not arise between countries which have a "long, open and cooperative relationship with each other, based on mutual respect".

It was responding to the latest move by two US Senators to block American funding to Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME).

US Senators Max Baucus’ and Jon Tester have introduced an amendment to block the funding, until the US Attorney General certifies that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has full access to all evidence and records relevant to the death of American Shane Todd.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said it’s "deeply disappointed by the Senators’ actions and statements".

It said the Senators had requested the FBI to be given "full access" to all the evidence in the investigation conducted by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) over the case, based on "the version of the facts provided by the family alone".

The ministry added the police here have so far refrained from publicising the information gathered because investigations are ongoing.

It reiterated that there will be a public Coroner’s Inquiry where all the facts will be laid out to determine the cause of Mr Todd’s death.

The ministry said Singapore has made every effort to be open and transparent in both its investigation and the over projects handled by the Institute of Microelectronics.

At a recent meeting between Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam, with Senator Baucus (in Washington DC on 12 March 2013), Mr Shanmugam had said that the Singapore police is prepared to share relevant evidence with the FBI "in accordance with the legal framework of both countries".

"The Minister reiterated this at a press conference after the meeting. The SPF has also publicly committed to take into account any information and evidence that the FBI may independently gather. The SPF will ensure that all information is comprehensively examined and scrutinized during its investigation, and have done so through foreign experts and in this case, the FBI. The SPF will continue to work with the FBI to engage the Todd family to get their co—operation and assistance for the on—going investigation," said the MFA spokesperson.

Mr Shanmugam also pointed out that IME was subject to rigorous internal audits.

The Institute of Microelectronics is also prepared to have a team from the US to conduct a process audit here.

The ministry said it will let the outcome of the investigation and Coroner’s Inquiry speak for themselves.

31—year—old Shane Todd was found hanged in his Singapore apartment in what appeared to be suicide, last June.

His parents, however, believe he was murdered.

— CNA/ck

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