U.S. scientist’s family quits death inquest

AFP-JIJI

The family of a U.S. scientist found hanged in Singapore last year walked out of a coroner’s inquiry into their son’s death Tuesday, saying they had “lost faith” in the proceedings.

The move came after their star witness, a U.S. pathologist who never examined the body, came under intense questioning for saying Shane Todd may have been killed by assassins after quitting a high-tech project for two Asian firms.

Singapore authorities believe he committed suicide.

“The prosecution brings forth witnesses at the last minute and we have no chance to question it. Basically, we actually have lost faith in the process,” the late researcher’s father, Rick Todd, told reporters outside the courthouse.

The family stood up and left the court after learning that a Frenchman who knew Todd, Luis Alejandro Andro Montes, was going to testify that the American was still alive the day before his body was found on June 24, 2012.

Earlier Tuesday, Edward Adelstein, 75, a deputy medical examiner in Missouri engaged by the family, had testified that Todd was murdered in his Singapore apartment and his death made to look like a suicide as part of a conspiracy.

Adelstein, testifying by live video link from the United States, admitted his conclusions were based only on pictures of the body and secondhand information.

Todd’s parents say their son was killed because of his work for a Singapore electronics research institute with alleged links to a Chinese firm accused of involvement in espionage.