Friday, May 24, 2013

Singapore: Update--Parents of American Engineer, 31, Give Up on Singaporean Justice

As a follow-up to my May 22 posting, Rick and Mary Todd, the parents of US citizen and software engineer Shane Todd, 31,  the latter of whom was found hanged in his apartment in Singapore on June 24, 2012, offered no evidence to substantiate their claim that there son was murdered, when interviewed on Fox News, earlier today (May 24).

Earlier in the week, the Todds left Singapore in protest of the facts that Singaporean officials cited during their son's inquest by the Singaporean Medical Examiner's office.

Police found no signs of forced entry into the apartment and he had no visible signs of injury on his body except redness on his forearms and legs. 
 
Todd's girlfriend, Shirly Sarmiento, had earlier told the inquest that he suffered from depression and that he had mounting unhappiness with the unethical environment in which he was working, but offered no evidence to suggest that Shane was murdered.
 
COMMENT: Rick Todd said his son in early 2012 had expressed concerns to his parents that he was being asked to compromise US security, yet he said that Shane was not specific in his statement.  
 

On Tuesday (May 21), a key witness in the ongoing inquest withdrew his initial claims that Todd was strangled. The state, meanwhile, introduced a witness who contradicts the parents' claim that their son was killed before June 23. 
 

Even the FBI has supported Singapore police claims that a hard drive found at Todd's apartment was handled by Singapore authorities who were conducting a forensic investigation, and not by unknown persons. 
 

While Singaporean authorities insist there was no evidence of foul play in Todd's death, the parents maintain he was murdered over his work researching semiconductor technology in a secretive project involving the Institute of Microelectronics and Chinese telecom giant, Huawei. 
 

If Shane's parents clearly believe that Singaporean forensic investigators erred in their conclusions, they should minimally retain independent experts who can conduct another autopsy of Shane's remains to determine his cause of death.

It is my understanding that the Todds met with the US Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman during their visit to the city-state. Hopefully, they explored options available to the Todd family in terms of attempting to prove the couple's theory that their son was murdered and was not the victim of a suicide. Unfortunately, the Todds have not disclosed the substance of their discussion with Ambassador Adelman.

While Singapore authorities insist there was no evidence of foul play in Todd's death, the parents maintain he was murdered over his work researching semiconductor technology in a secretive project involving the Institute of Microelectronics and Chinese telecom giant, Huawei. One option would be for the Todds to retain a consultant in an effort to determine if the Institute did in fact have a relationship with Huawei.

Rick and Mary Todd seemingly do not possess any documentation, evidence or leads that would cause an independent expert to draw conclusions that would suggest that Shane Todd was murdered. 


Another factor to be considered in this matter is that according to the internationally-respected website: http://www.transparency-usa.org, in its annual Corruption Perception Index for 2012, Singapore is the 5th most transparent nation in the world compared to the US being in 19th place.

It should also be noted that Singapore is one of the most tech-savvy nations in the world, given it's being a respected center for global technology.

Finally, the Todds should be asked two very specific questions: (1) For what reason would Singaporean officials intentionally skew the results of their autopsy on Shane Todd's body?; and (2) Do they possess any evidence, documentary or forensic, that would cause an independent consultant to dispute the results of Singapore's autopsy of Shane Todd?

If the Todds can offer no details or evidence to challenge the conclusions of the Singaporean government, they may well be forced to accept the possibility that their son could have committed suicide, however painful that reality may be.