Researcher's death: US senator to meet S'pore ambassador

WASHINGTON - A prominent United States Senator was scheduled to meet Singapore's ambassador to the United States over the death of American IT researcher Shane Todd in the Republic last year.

Sen Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is pressing the White House and US State Department to look into the man's death in June last year. Singapore's Foreign Ministry confirmed late yesterday that ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri was meeting Sen Baucus on the issue today.

Mr Todd, 32, worked at the Institute of Microelectronics, a unit of the Singapore state-run Agency for Science, Technology and Research. His parents said on national TV in the US yesterday that they believe he was murdered because of his ties to a project the institute was working on with a Chinese company. Singapore police have now asked the FBI in the US to help with their investigation.

Yesterday Sen Baucus said on the NBC Today news show that Mr Todd's death could be linked to technology espionage. "I think that there's a lot of this going on - and it's very dangerous."

PAUL ZACH