Singapore inquest into US scientist to start May 13

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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