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Singapore inquest into US scientist to start May 13

This general view shows the Marina Bay financial district buildings in Singapore on January 18, 2013
This general view shows the Marina Bay financial district buildings in Singapore on January 18, 2013. A Singapore coroner's inquiry into the death of a US scientist found hanged in the city-state will start on May 13, state prosecutors said Tuesday.

A Singapore coroner's inquiry into the death of a US scientist found hanged in the city-state will start on May 13, state prosecutors said Tuesday.

The case involves Shane Todd, whose parents believe he may have been murdered because of his work for a Singapore institute with alleged links to a Chinese firm seen by the US as a security threat.

The coroner's inquiry or inquest is a legal process to determine the cause of death. Todd's family has been invited to attend and ask questions during the inquest.

Todd, an electronics engineer, was a researcher for the state-linked Institute of Microelectronics (IME) in Singapore when he was found dead in his apartment in June last year.

Singapore police had reported the death of the 31-year-old as suicide but US officials are pressing for a deeper investigation.

The city-state's police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation have begun sharing information on the case.

Todd was working on a project involving China's Huawei Technologies, although the IME and Huawei have said that talks on a joint collaboration did not progress beyond preliminary stages.

The IME has also said that it and Todd were never involved in any secret research project and it has welcomed a US audit of its internal processes.

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