Spy links dismissed in U.S. man’s death

AFP-JIJI

An American high-tech researcher whose family claims he was murdered in Singapore was under treatment for depression and left suicide notes before he was found hanged, a public inquiry was told Monday.

Senior state counsel Tai Wei Shyong, opening a coroner’s inquest into the death of electronics engineer Shane Todd, said there were no signs of foul play in the apartment where his body was found.

Todd’s parents, who are taking part in the inquiry, believe he was killed in connection with his work for a Singapore research institute with alleged links to a Chinese firm accused of involvement in international espionage.

Todd’s body was found by his girlfriend, Filipino nurse Shirley Sarmiento, at his apartment in the evening of last June 24, setting off a saga that has reached the highest levels of the U.S. and Singapore governments.