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Beattie report on Singapore / US / China


Q&A Tan & Beattie / Singapore / US / China / Singapore today opened a legal proceeding into last year's death of an American software engineer whose parents insist their son was the victim of foul play. They believe the death involved an alleged illegal transfer of sensitive technology to China. Singapore's senior state counsel said 31-year old Shane Todd was under treatment for depression and left suicide notes before authorities found him hanged at his home last June. Todd's body was found shortly after he quit his job with the government-controlled Institute of Microelectronics. The coroner's inquiry is to determine the cause of death. Todd's parents, Rick and Mary, claim their son was working at the institute on the development of gallium nitride, or GaN -- a semi-conductor material that can be used in military radar and satellite communications. They have enlisted the support of their two Montana senators, Jon Tester and Max Baucus, in the case. The London-based Financial Times newspaper quoted Mary Todd as saying her son felt he was being asked to compromise American security at the research company with a firm identified as the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. The Chinese firm has been blocked from some projects in Australia and deemed a security risk by the U.S. Congress. Eugene Tan, assistant professor of law at Singapore Management University, tells VOA's Victor Beattie Todd's parents appear to have little faith in the city-state's legal system.

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